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Editorial: Hope with the new coalition

Editorial: Hope with the new coalition

Four parties—CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist Center), Rastriya Samajwadi Party (RSP) and Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP)—have formed a new coalition government with Maoist Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal continuing as the Prime Minister. The four parties have vowed to address people’s aspirations for good governance, development, and social justice. On the external front, the alliance has pledged to maintain balanced and expanded international relations, keeping national interests and priorities at the forefront. While the new ministers have assumed office and promised to deliver positive results, people do not have much hope for the new government because there is a repetition of the same parties and faces tested several times in the past. 

This frustration extends beyond individual parties or leaders. People are disenchanted with major parties that have held power for two decades. The formation of three coalitions within a year does not augur well for the people and the country. It reflects a focus of the major parties on power and resources rather than the welfare of the populace and the nation. Over the past year, the government under Pushpa Kamal Dahal has struggled to deliver services, curb corruption, and stabilize the economy. Victims of microfinance and loan sharks are demanding justice from the streets, but their demands remain unaddressed. Moreover, reactionary forces are raising their heads, and the 2015 constitution is at risk. There also have been efforts to fuel ethnic and religious tensions. The government has failed to create jobs, leading to an exodus of people seeking opportunities abroad. 

Not only the unemployed youths, but even affluent Nepalis are losing faith in the country’s future and relocating elsewhere. Both exports and imports are declining, and capital expenditure is showing no sign of picking up. Rampant corruption is hampering governance at all levels.  The new coalition government, therefore, should prioritize these pressing issues instead of engaging in empty rhetorics. Restoring trust in the major political parties hinges on effective service delivery and economic improvement. The success of this coalition will be measured by its ability to restore people’s faith in the political system. PM Dahal is putting the blame on Nepali Congress for all his failures over the past year. He may do that again. The CPN-UML, as the second-largest party in the parliament, has a huge responsibility in ensuring that the government functions effectively.