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Bhim Bahadur Rawal: MCC compact was steamrolled by ignoring national interest

The Annapurna Express

The Annapurna Express

Bhim Bahadur Rawal: MCC compact was steamrolled by ignoring national interest

All patriotic Nepalis should cautiously and consciously watch how such provisions unfold

Senior CPN-UML leader Bhim Rawal is a fierce opponent of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Nepal compact. Amid protests, the Federal Parliament had endorsed the compact on February 27. Rawal continues to speak against the compact, maintaining that it compromises Nepal’s sovereignty. Priyanjali Karn of ApEx talked to him to solicit his views on the compact and his future plans.  

Despite your strong objection, the parliament endorsed the MCC compact. What next?

In line with our constitutional provisions, we should always keep national interest at the center of our external dealings. Nothing is more important. Without changing its provisions that challenge our national interest, the MCC compact was endorsed in a haste and amid protests. This shows Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other top leaders are not sensitive about our national interest. Additionally, the parliament should function as per the parliamentary regulation, but in the case of compact ratification, it was violated. 

Could you explain how the compact-ratification process was against the constitution?

Article 279 of the constitution clearly stipulates which type of agreement needs the backing of two-thirds majority and which can be passed by a simple majority. We should first formulate a federal law to chalk out a procedure on the passage of agreements by majority votes. But right now there is no such law. That is why the compact’s endorsement goes against the constitution.

Our constitution also talks about independent foreign policy and we remain firm on a non-alignment. Some provisions of the compact go against these constitutional provisions, but the government ignored such a sensitive matter and steamrolled the compact. 

What does the compact’s endorsement say about our political parties?

Like I said, the compact has several provisions which go against our national interests. If such provisions are implemented, our domestic laws, our right to self-determination, our national independence will be compromised. Therefore, all patriotic Nepalis should cautiously and consciously watch how such provisions unfold in the coming days.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is at the forefront of violating the constitution and laws. We have to watch closely how the government implements the provisions that are against the constitution and takes forward the interpretative declaration endorsed by the parliament. The compact’s endorsement clearly shows our political parties serve foreign powers.

You have been a rebel in your own party, including on the compact. What is your current status in CPN-UML?

I am just an ordinary UML member. I am also a member of the House of Representatives elected from Achham district.

How is your relationship with party Chairman KP Oli?

I do not have any special relationship with him. We have not talked since the party’s 10th general convention in Chitwan.