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Editorial: Mend ways

Editorial: Mend ways

This week witnessed a resurgence in the verbal sparring between republican and monarchist forces in the country. Former king Gyanendra Shah took a swipe at the failure of the political parties to bring peace, stability and prosperity to the country. He said there is extreme disappointment among people due to the activities of the political parties. In response, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli dismissed Gyanendra Shah as a mere dummy rather than a monarch. Prime Minister and CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal went on to say that the government would launch an investigation into the 2001 massacre involving King Birendra's family. 

Rastriya Prajantra Party (RPP) has already declared its intent to take to the streets for the restoration of monarchy and the Hindu state. Interactions between former king Shah and royalist forces have intensified recently. Major political parties, including Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, and CPN (Maoist Center), are increasingly concerned about the growing influence of royalist forces. They fear the potential weaponization of public frustration against the current political system. However, engaging in a war of words and issuing threats against royalist forces will not address the root issues. The focus should shift toward addressing the growing dissatisfaction among the people. Foremost among the priorities should be corruption control and improvement in governance at all levels. Widespread unemployment is fueling discontent among people prompting many to seek opportunities abroad or endure miserable conditions at home. The recent trend of Nepalis joining the Russian Army speaks volumes about the desperation for well-paying jobs. Moreover, thousands of people are protesting in the streets, demanding the return of their deposits from troubled financial cooperatives. Victims of loan sharks are preparing to rally as well.

The current situation underscores the imperative for simultaneous economic development to sustain epochal changes such as republicanism, federalism and inclusion. Although historic political changes have taken place in Nepal over the past two decades, political leadership has neither rectified its approaches nor taken serious measures for economic development. The political parties need to recognize that not only royalist forces but also other adversarial elements can exploit public sentiments and frustration to destabilize the existing political system. Therefore, the political parties—both in the government and in the opposition—should think about resolving the key problems that the country is facing at the moment.