Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Should Nepal have Parliamentary or Presidential form of Government?

All through my life, I studies humanities and for many years, I had to study about Political Science in school and college life. We had to study about different forms of government in democracy and their merits and demerits. I am a fan of parliamentary form of government and I am happy to see that in most countries of South Asia, we have now parliamentary democracy.

It seems that a debate will take place in Nepal about the form of government. Until a few months ago, Nepal in theory had a parliamentary democracy along with constitutional monarchy. However, in practice, the country had nothing better than autocratic monarchy. Now, Nepal is a republic and parliamentary form of democratic government is the norm in the country. The interesting thing is that the Maoist party is in power after they got elected by popular vote in 2008 election.

A group of skilled and educated people of Nepalese origin living in USA have sent a list of recommendations about a new constitution for the country. They viewed that Nepal should have a federal system of government and the provinces/states should get more power and autonomy. I agree with this idea. However, they also mentioned that the country should have US style presidential form of government. I do not agree with this idea at all. It would again bring back autocracy in the country.

Well, you may argue that autocracy can happen even in parliamentary form of government too. I agree with you but I believe that the in presidential form of government, a president can become autocratic much easier than the prime minister of parliamentary government. You may give the example of USA. Well, I would like you to remind that in USA, there is a balance of power between the President, the Parliament and the Judiciary. Media is also very strong there.

Of course, at the end of the day, it is up to the people of Nepal to decide to select what form of government they want for themselves. I just gave my own personal view.

(This entry was first published in February 2009. Because of a technical problem, the entry had to be deleted and I am reposting again now.)

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