Former Additional Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Navaraj Dhakal has said that political parties should be responsible to reduce security challenges for upcoming elections. Security has been complicated due to the volatile activities of political leaders.
Speaking with Shree Ram Paudel, former AIG Dhakal stressed that political parties were more focused on finishing the elections than to complete it in a proper way.
What are the challenges do you find in upcoming elections?
There are mainly two conflicting issues for the elections. Who is responsible for the security management for the elections? Political parties or security departments? It seems that political parties are lacking in responsibility for the elections. The politicians file for the candidacy, involve in the elections and take in charge for the development of the country after being elected. Therefore the political parties should be committed to ensuring the security during the elections.
However, in our country, security arrangement is undertaken by the security bodies. It is their duty. We do not find political parties more serious and concerned regarding this issue. They are mainly focused on winning the elections as a result of which there are many cases of violence of election code of conduct. This creates more challenges for the Election Commission and security bodies.
Once the date of the election is announced, from there the challenges begin. The main one is to hold the election successfully and side by side, to control minor violence among the candidates. Likewise, the security of the polling station, ballot boxes and possible violence during the vote counting among others are also serious security threats.
In the current context, several small groups including Biplov group are trying to disrupt the elections, which is also difficult task to deal with the security arrangement. The candidates are inciting against their rivals and trying to stop them as well which against the voting rights of the citizens. If the citizens are barred from exercising their voting right correctly then right candidate might not be elected.
Previously, during the vote counting in local elections, voting took place in center secured with barbed wire. It gives a clear moral status of the political parties.
Election is the base to elect a capable person for the development and prosperity of the country. But the definition of the election is changed due to the possible protest, clash or violence during the election.
Election is the important process in democratic process. People can exercise their rights choose their representatives to govern the country. How can the mandate of the people be saved from untoward political violence?
The current confusion is the result of undermining the mandate of the people. Voters are reluctant to elect the right candidate. This will raise the question of the credibility of the political parties. The election is the best way to institutionalize the democracy and to achieve the development and prosperity in the country. However, untimely election and the political parties not being serious on people’s mandate during the elections are making the issues more complex.
What is the possible impact that could be seen during the elections from Biplav-led group and Tarai-based groups?
Fear of Biplav-led group could be seen across the country. The group could be taken in control legally without hampering the election activities. In Tarai, all the political bodies are involved in the election activities so there are not such activities that could hamper the election. However, the political parties can misuse the people who became used to in operating arms during the insurgency period in their favor. The security bodies should take it with great concern.
Number wise, the deployment of the security personnel seems to be intensive. As these numbers are allocated for security of many things across the country, it is not sufficient.
If the first phase of the election will be successfully conducted, then there will be chances for the second phase as well. The next thing is that the anti-election group fails to do activities in all places. Economically and on security basis, the election can be conducted in low expenses.
Nepal police were solely responsible for the successful conduction of the previous elections. However, in recent few elections, Nepal Army, APF and temporary police have been added, for what reason?
After the insurgency, many people have become used to with the arms and ammunition. Many Nepal were involved in violent activities. As they are well-trained groups, one strong force is needed to confront them.
If all stakeholders are more serious and concerned regarding the security issues then one security person is enough for one polling station. The additional force has been included to relief the voters from fear of violence, psychologically.
What are the security threats from the activities of Left, Democratic or other alliances during the election?
In this issue, Nepali have high-level of thinking as there are many precedents of solving the problems by citizens themselves. People confront and solve in their own way.
Next thing, as the left alliance is formed by well-established force and the force having history of conflict, there might be mal coordination among themselves for which the security bodies should be alert to avoid any untoward consequences. It is not possible to make security strategy from only one angle. Therefore, the security bodies should formulate strategies from different perspectives to tackle the threat. Even the political parties should be trained to create a friendly environment during the election.
As Home Ministry does not have a minister and the secretaries are also new to the ministry. Likewise, National Investigation Bureau is not working effectively. Isn’t this a great threat for the election?
Though there is no minister in Home Ministry and the secretaries are new for the minister, but they are well experienced. Analyzing and implementing the report from the different mechanism in the ministry is working effectively. Next thing, Home Minister is appointed politically. He motivates and helps in mobilizing these mechanisms, which Prime Minister himself is doing currently.
There might be a delay in taking a decision during the election and emergency in absence of the minister. But, if those mechanisms could manage then it won’t be a big deal.
While talking about Investigation Department, we use the department during the need and rest of the time we ignore for which the department is being criticized for its non-effective performances. The government should make more investment for this and do detail study and implement it for the effective performance of the department.
(Based on the radio conversation with Shree Ram Paudel)