Nepalese Steering Committee sticks together in polarized political environment
Despite growing differences among political parties of Nepal following dissolution of the constituent assembly in May this year, major political parties remain committed to strengthening political parties at the local level. They have partnered with DIPD for this initiative and a Guide containing Danish experiences of strengthening local level organisations of the political parties is in the finalisation process.
On 15 July 2012, representatives from major political parties of Nepal including UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, Unified Marxist Leninist, Madhesi People’s Rights Forum- Nepal, Tarai-Madhesh Democratic Front met to reflect on experiences gained from Denmark’s visit and how these experiences can be implemented to support democratic practices in Nepal.
‘We generally go to the people either during the elections or during huge public events. From Denmark, we learnt that we can be with the people regularly, organising simple events without huge costs implications,’ said Chitra Lekha Yadav, Treasurer of the Nepali Congress party and the former deputy speaker of Parliament.
‘While organising public events in Nepal, we mostly invite a huge number of people paying for their transport and food. Then we impose our speeches on them for continuous five or six hours, irrespective of if those people are interested to listen or not. We also spend huge money on unimportant things like setting up a grand stage or distributing badges for the participants. This practice has become a burden to the parties and a barrier to connect to the people regularly. From our experience in Denmark, we learnt that alternative ways exist in which public events are less costly and more effective. Based on this insight, we will take the initiative within our parties to organise simple and less expensive public events. We are confident that the people will appreciate this,’ said another member from the Steering Committee.
The members also agreed that the practice of organising events all over Denmark not just in Copenhagen on the Constitution Day is something that should be adopted in Nepal as well. They committed that for the upcoming national event such as for the Democracy Day or the Constitution Day in Nepal, they will organise the events in the district level as well.
‘Generally, after returning from foreign trips, a sense of humiliation looms within us thinking that Nepal is so far behind those countries. But this trip made us feel that why isn’t it possible to have some of the good aspects of Danish democracy in Nepal? We felt like it is possible, let’s do it!’