KATHMANDU, NEPAL -
The Nepali Congress (NC), the only one oldest democratic party of the country, emerged as the largest party in to be formed Constituent Assembly (CA). With counting for the first-past-the-post (FPTP), the NC secured 105 seats and leading in the proportional representation (PR) race too. The CPN-UML has also been following the NC. The UCPN (Maoist), the largest party in the dissolved CA, is being limited in third position. In the PFTP vote count, the NC, UML and UCPN Maoist secured 105, 91 and 26 seats respectively. Recent trend clearly indicates that the NC and the UML will comfortably secure two-thirds majority. The election result is a huge gain to the NC and the UML as both the parties in the 2008 CA election together had a total of 223 seats, against the Maoists\' 229. With the two third majority to the NC and UML, it is expected that previous saga that had persisted during the last CA would not repeat again as recent election result would not only ease to form a majority government but to promulgate a new democratic constitution within the stipulated time frame.
As the constitution is regarded as document of consensus, size matters would not work to promulgate a new constitution; though the NC and UML garner two third majorities require promulgating a new constitution. As the politics is not simply a numbers game, the Nepali Congress and CPN UML should understand that the number of seats is not everything to conclude the remaining task of the ongoing peace process. The cause and consequence of the dissolved CA should be analyzed to identify the road to ahead. The last CA was failed by the political parties particularly the big four as they had forgotten the path of consensus politics. If we go thoroughly to identify the reason behind the failure of the dissolved CA, there would be an obvious saying that the UCPN Maoist and Madhesi parties played foul game by relinquishing in the government. Some childish stand like single identity based federal set up had also led to fail the last CA. We have no intention to blame any political parties here but would like to urge all the parties to stay apart of partisan interest and work together towards a common goal of promulgating a new constitution institutionalizing the achievements made from the popular movement.
We have nothing to say here but would like to remind all the political parties that the need of the hour is consensus among the political force that had brought the nation at this stage. Conesus is the only peninsula of the hour which would not only to ease to promulgate a new constitution within the stipulated time frame but also conclude the ongoing peace process. As the UCPN Maoist is the integral part of the ongoing peace process, it should not run away from the constitution making process though it has faced humiliating defeat in the CA election. As election is the base and beauty of the democracy, any mistakes should be corrected through the rightful channels but not from the streets. Concerned stake holder like Constitutional Assembly Court should hear the grievances of the UCPN Maoist. Obviously, the NC and UML must play an active role in reaching out to the dissenting parties. The UCPN Maoist also should not create obstacle but cooperate to reach out the dissident political parties that had boycotted the CA election and work together with the NC and UML to promulgate a new democratic constitution within one year period.
KATHMANDU, NEPAL -
Nepalese Maoist leader Prachanda has lost his position in Kathmandu booth in the 2nd CA election and he said that he and his party do not accept the results of the election. Nepal has languished in political deadlock since the Maoists laid down arms seven years ago, with six governments failing to forge a constitution. Nepal\'s giant neighbors, India and China, as well as western donors, have grown increasingly concerned about the prolonged struggle to build a stable nation may be to replace the Nepal\'s old monarchy. Without effective government with constitutional, the country can\'t save its sovereignty and not to be able to utilize the natural resources and develop internal production.
In this election, Congress and UML got top votes challenging the \'One Madhes, one Pradesh\' Limbuwan, Khambuwan and ethnic-based federalism including the U-Maoist\'s notorious egoistic challenges. We know, the leaders of Congress, UML are also almost corrupts and traitors. The Congress leaders- Sher Bahadur Deuwa, Ram Chandra Paudel, Krishna Sitoula and UML leaders- Madhavb Nepal, Jhalanath, Subash Nembang, Bamdev Gautam are corrupts and no so good. The Congress and UML\'s corrupted regime had created the Maoists\' war. After all, it became the people\'s compulsion to chase away these anarchists and ethnic based federalists. Then, it became necessary to vote among the evil elements of Congress and UML also. Now and then, we hope, the Congress, UML will join their hands with the nationalist forces like-RPP-Nepal for the stability and unity among the Nepalese people.
It is necessary to point that the Indian Intelligence Agency-RAW has been defaming \'INDIA\'. The Maoists, who revolt to overthrow the Nepalese monarchy and Hindu nation by the hints of RAW, emerged as the single-largest party during the last CA election (2008). But during this year CA election, while the vote counting was in progress during midnight of 20th Nov 2013, the anti-Maoist parties- Congress and UML was in leading position at almost all the CA seats then the Maoist uttered an immediate end of vote counting and a review of the whole process of the election. The U-Maoist would be boycotted before the CA election. After 24 hours, The Madhesi parties also followed the path of U-Maoist boycotting the vote counting after losing the seat of CA election. But, after 36 hours, the Maoist Prachanda is elected from Seraha and Upendra Yadhav and Bijaya Gachhedar are elected in another booth. Then, why they are going to boycott? It is very shameful for Nepalese voters and the international communities to hear such news.
I think, RAW has imposed to boycott the CA counting to terrorize Nepal because the Indian notorious Intelligence Agency- RAW Chief Aalok Joshi is in Kathmandu investing money and equipments to the Maoists and Madhesi. I think, if India does not dismiss RAW-the conspirator institution, Indian can break. We Nepalese people hate the RAW\'s nefarious activities. So, I request to the Indian government to dismiss the notorious Agency-RAW who is creating defaming India day by day. due to the RAW\'s nefarious activities. So, I request to the Indian government to quit such notorious Agency-RAW who is creating defaming India day by day.
In that context, Nepal\'s chief election commissioner said-\'I urge all political parties, media, and observers to show restraint until the final results from the counting come,\' European Union observers said voting had been conducted in \"an orderly and generally calm atmosphere\". Former US president Jimmy Carter, who led a separate monitoring team, said he was very disappointed to hear that the Maoists had rejected the count and he called on them to respect the will of the electorate. \"They must refrain from violent protest, and I urge them to allow the electoral process to continue,\"
Actually, the 2nd CA election was not necessary in Nepal and itself it is unconstitutional. The parties could not format the new constitution in four years in the past CA. During the last seven years, the leaders of ruling parties-the so called republicans especially the U-Maoists seemed disoriented in institutionalizing the state organs. They have totally failed on all counts of national integrity and social harmony to maintain law and order to good governance to the country development and ignored the demand of common people. They are engaging in power politics for looting and earning the sate money undermining the democratic norms and values. Actually, due to the anarchist, dictatorial and non- political activities, the U-Maoists have got fizzle out.
Let is be, due to the recklessness and nonsense activities of the parties, the country is in dangerous position. If the elected 2nd CA members have sense of Nepalese nationality and democracy, to save Nepal it is necessary to keep its sovereignty intact, they should join their hands with monarchy restoring the Hindu nation.
Due to the looters and traitors\' regime since 2006, the situation of Nepal is in danger position. \'Let the darkness of ignorance be replaced by the light of knowledge.\'-(Sanskrit) This message is for every individual and enriches one\'s own knowledge and enlightenment. We must make our efforts to illuminate ourselves, society and the country with the intellectual light. Nepal is now facing several problems like mistrust, conflict and confrontation. If we enrich our level of understanding, many of the problems would be automatically resolved. First of all, the traitors and corrupts from 2006, should be punished. Then, we Nepalese people can adjust our way of life prosperous keeping sovereignty intact reinstating the norms of 1990 constitution for the sake of Nepalese stability.
In the context of Nepal, in the absence of democratic constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system, Nepal can\'t move. In Nepal, where nationalistic democratic norms with constitutional monarchy are widely respected, a democratic system is more likely to be characterized by greater freedom, more responsive government, predictable behavior, and successful conflict resolution. Actually, the dysfunctional attitude of culprit leaders thwarted the constitution making and is the result of illegitimate prolongation of the power for their benefits. The everlasting crisis is the result of the Maoist conspirator tactics, it continuing to be used by criminal gangs. So, due to the traitor\'s regime, the government has no capability to control large scale eruption of violence. The 2nd CA also can\'t format the constitution. So, to give the nation a solution the new 2nd elected CA must proposed and decide to implement the articles of 1990 constitution to honor the unchangeable provisions of constitutional monarchy with Hindu nation. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
By NJ Thakuria
Guwahati: The political turmoil may not recede in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the initiative for an inter-country gas pipeline project continues as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been ‘appointed transaction advisor to help attract a commercial consortium leader of global repute that will build, own and operate the planned 1,800-kilometer natural gas pipeline.
The gas pipeline connecting Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan with India is estimated to export up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India over 30 years. The project (TAPI), supposed to be completed by 2017 will allow the landlocked Turkmenistan to diversify its gas export markets to the southeast Asia and it will also provide a vital new fuel source for developing Afghanistan and help Pakistan tackle chronic fuel shortages, said a statement issued on November 19, 2013 by the ADB from Ashgabat of Turkmenistan.
“We are grateful for the confidence the parties have in ADB to help move this important gas project one step closer to fruition,” said Klaus Gerhaeusser, ADB director general in-charge of central and west Asia department. He also added that it would bring ‘multiple benefits to the participants, including access to new markets, enhanced energy security and job opportunities, and have transformational impact on regional cooperation and boost other initiatives aimed at bringing peace and stability to the region’.
The ADB is understood to advise on the establishment of the said gas pipeline project and also ‘handle the bidding and selection of a commercial consortium leader to build, own and operate the pipeline’. The entire project is jointly owned by four country gas firms namely Turkmengas, Afghan Gas Enterprise, Inter State Gas Systems pvt ltd and GAIL (India) ltd.
The energy starved India, which is set to become the third largest energy consumer in the globe by 2025 after the US and China, continues its initiative for acquiring natural gas from Myanmar too. However, few days the Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid termed the TAPI gas pipeline project as a real-time investment for the country of one billion populaces. The minister of course admitted that it would be necessary to keep patience as the route involves countries (read Afghanistan and Pakistan) with difficult situations till today.
Guwahati: To deal with the huge volume of garbage produced by every city today, an eminent environmental activist of Assam emphasizes on promoting non-burning technologies. Aashim K Chatterjee, who strongly opposes the open burning of garbage, argues that the practice can help curbing the level of pollution in the air.
Attending a program on October 30, 2013 in Guwahati Press Club, Mr Chatterjee pointed out that the increase of dioxin in the air is because of open burning of various wastes that is inviting a number of cancerous diseases to the human health.
He also asserted that the ‘waste which cannot be reused, recycled, or composted cleanly, should be land-filled rather than incinerated as it would help in lesser release of dioxin to the environment’. Mentionable is that the dioxin is a nomenclature given to a large group of chemical compounds with similar structure those are made up of Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen and Chlorine atoms.
“Burning of municipal waste, bio-medical waste, backyard blazing and automobile emissions continue to contribute to the release of dioxin into the environment, which is feared as one of the most common and causative agents of cancer,” said Mr Chatterjee, who has been experienced in the waste management process for more than a decade now.
“We are exposed to dioxin through the air that we breathe. The pollutants in the air carry large amounts of it which could target us at any given instance. Hence we must limit its release into the environment,” added the activist.
The statistics of cancer patients in Assam is the highest in northeast India. According to a list prepared in 2011-2012 by the activist, Assam had 4443 cancer patients followed by Meghalaya with 101 cases. The other States of the region had less than hundred reported cancer patients as Nagaland had 84, Arunachal Pradesh 65, Mizoram 59, Manipur
38 and Tripura had the lowest of 14 cases.
Mr Chatterjee, who continues his effort to generate public awareness on the growing menace of air, water and surface pollution across the region with organizing training, technical knowhow and waste management services to a large number of hospitals in Assam insisted on the strict legislations to be implemented with an aim to curb out the menace of dioxin at the earliest.
Dec 07 - KATHMANDU, DEC 07 -
Former Speaker, who is also the CPN-UML leader Subash Chandra Nemwang has said efforts were on to institutionalise the achievements of democracy.
Speaking at a workshop organised by the people returning after participating in the US International Visitors\' Leadership Programme (IVLP) in the Capital on Saturday, leader Nemwang said political parties were making efforts to consolidate democracy and protect the achievements of the people\'s movement.
According to him, it was time to learn from the past experience than to worry over future.
On the occasion, US Charge d\' Affairs, Jon L Carwile, said it was good to think what I contributed to the nation than what the nation gave to me. This thought would lead to the nation building, he added.
Chairman of the International Visitors\' Alumni Association, Tarnath Dahal, said that the IVAN was a bridge to boost relations between Nepal and the US.
Various persons including former Constituent Assembly member Radheshyam Adhikari, Achyut Wagle, Dinesh Tripathi, Durga Ghimire were present on the occasion. RSS
HETAUDA, DEC 07 -
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Central Regional Office, Hetauda, has started investigation into 960 petitions out of 1,000 registered in the central region.
The CIAA has said it would finalize 40 petitions through investigating on the spot. The commission said there are more than 800 petitions from other districts except for Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur and Makwanpur.
Similarly, some 100 have been registered in Kathmandu and more than 100 in regional office.
More petitions have been filed from Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha and Sindhuli districts from Terai in Central Region. They include cases of irregularities in VDCs, municipalities, schools and health institutions. RSS
DAMAULI: At least 33 persons were injured in a bus accident occurred at Badahare of Purkot-3 in Tanahun district on Friday night.
It has been learnt that two among the injured are in critical condition.
Chhabi Ram Pariyar (70) and Renuka Pairyar (16) were injured seriously in the accident, said the District Police Office, Tanahu, adding that 12 are receiving treatment at Bharatpur Medical College while 21 others at Besishahar of Lamjung.
The bus (Ga 1 Kha 4512) was carrying a marriage party from Chitwan to Besi Shahar of Lamjung.
There were 55 persons in the bus. It is said the ill-fated bus met with an accident due to over speed.
Police have taken the bus driver under control and started an investigation.
With the Announcement of the next Constituent Assembly (CA) election result, the leaders of the two largest parties- the Nepali Congress Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-UML- have begun discussions on the composition of the new government. Though it was expected that the two political parties would not spend time unnecessarily to form the government, it seems that it would take months as the latter has strongly been demanding whether the president or Prime Minister from the UML. The NC, which has secured majority seats in the CA, has been urging the political parties particularly the CPN UML not to raise such issues that contradicts to the Interim Constitution. It seems that the NC is not in mood to change the president and willing to lead the government in the capacity of largest party. As the Interim constitution clearly states that incumbent president will remain until the next CA promulgates a new constitution, the demand to share the president and Prime Minister between the two political parties would not be addressed easily. These all indicates that the road to ahead is not as smooth as expected earlier.
NC leaders including President Sushil Koirala\'s recent statements seem quite responsible as they have been saying that first priority of now is to draft the constitution but not to lead government. The NC has also been approaching not only the UCPN Maoist that has been challenging to boycott the CA and the CPN-Maoist that had boycotted the CA election for the national consensus government. Some leaders from the UML have also been parroting for consensus politics emphasizing the new constitution rather than the government. We are cautious that this is not right time to blame any parties but would like to remind that presenting with the demand that not only contradicts with the interim constitution but also the consensus politics do not suit the UML party.
Though there is a compulsion that the issue of government formation should be settled earlier than heading towards the constitution drafting process, the Political parties particularly the UML should remember that the primary task for the parties is to draft and promulgate a constitution within a year. The experience of the previous CA should be demonstrated here. The election results gained by the UCPN Maoist and the Madhes based parties would be a reference to the political parties particularly the UML as excessive competition for power sharing had not only hampered the constitution drafting process but also led the parties towards the demolition. We have nothing to say on the issue of government formation but would like to urge all the political parties to demonstrate greater flexibility this time around. The desire of any political parties or its leader for power cannot be allowed to hold the political process hostage. This is not a time to dilly-dally as it will cost the people and the country more.
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), the only constitutional body to check the corruption, has lodged corruption case against Ramesh Prasad Mainali, Director of Department of Foreign Employment, and computer operator Pappu Kumar Sah at the Special Court on Friday.
The CIAA moved to the court with the claim that the duo had made wrong details with \'double meaning\' to provide labor permit with an intention of financial benefit.
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
BANGUI, Dec 06: At least 300 people have been killed in violence in the Central African Republic since Thursday, a Red Cross official told AFP.
The Red Cross has a provisional toll of 281 from counting bodies in morgues and in the streets, the official said, adding that medics had been unable to reach all areas hit by violence where witness say there are several other uncollected bodies.
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
MANAMA, Dec 07: The US military is committed to maintaining its 35,000-strong force in the Gulf region regardless of a nuclear deal with Iran, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel said Saturday in Bahrain.
The United States has \"more than 35,000 military personnel\" in and around the Gulf and \"will not make any adjustments to its forces in the region\" as a result of the interim accord with Iran, said Hagel, according to a prepared text of a speech.
In a trip designed to reassure Gulf Arab allies worried about America´s diplomatic opening with Iran, Hagel enumerated a list of US weaponry and resources that will remain deployed in the region.
\"We have a ground, air, and naval presence of more than 35,000 military personnel in and immediately around the Gulf,\" he said, according to the text of the speech he planned to deliver at a security conference in Manama.
The military footprint includes 10,000 US Army troops with tanks and Apache helicopters, roughly 40 ships at sea including an aircraft carrier battle group, missile defense systems, advanced radar,surveillance drones and warplanes that can strike at short notice, he said.
\"We have deployed our most advanced fighter aircraft throughout the region, including F-22s, to ensure that we can quickly respond to contingencies,\" Hagel said.
\"Coupled with our unique munitions, no target is beyond our reach,\" said Hagel, in an apparent reference to \"bunker buster\" bombs designed to penetrate deeply buried targets.
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
WASHINGTON, Dec 07: US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle will travel to South Africa next week to pay their respects to the late Nelson Mandela together with former first couple George W. and Laura Bush.
Ex-president Bill Clinton, who was in office when Mandela took power to become South Africa´s first black president, also said that he would be making the trip with his family.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the Obamas would \"participate in memorial events\" for the iconic leader who died Thursday at age 95.
Carney declined to provide more details on the trip, saying more information would be provided once it becomes available.
South African President Jacob Zuma said a national ceremony in Mandela´s memory would be held Tuesday in the Soweto stadium.
His body will then lie in state in Pretoria for three days before he receives a state burial on December 15 in his boyhood home of Qunu.
The Bushes will be making the trip together with the Obamas on the presidential plane at the current first couple´s request, according to Freddy Ford, a spokesman for the 43rd president.
\"President and Mrs George W. Bush have gratefully accepted the President and Mrs Obama´s invitation to accompany them to South Africa on Air Force One and attend president Nelson Mandela´s memorial services next week,\" he said.
The White House invitation was also extended to former president George H.W. Bush but the 89-year-old declined since he can no longer travel long distances, said his spokesman Jim McGrath.
\"But he will be there in spirit, of course,\" McGrath told AFP.
Clinton confirmed that he, too, was headed to South Africa.
\"Our whole family is going,\" Clinton told CNN, implying that both his wife Hillary, a former US secretary of state and one-time rival to Obama to secure the Democratic presidential nomination, and daughter Chelsea would be coming along.
\"I wouldn´t miss this,\" said Clinton.
\"He was a genuine friend to me, and he was a really fine partner as president.
\"So my whole family will be there, and we´re looking forward to having the chance to say goodbye one last time.\"
Representatives for the other surviving former occupant of the White House -- Jimmy Carter -- did not immediately respond to a request about possible attendance plans.
South Africa declared a period of mourning for all of next week, starting Sunday with a \"national day of prayer and reflection.\"
In a tribute shortly after the revered statesman´s death was made public, Obama mourned Mandela as a \"profoundly good\" man who \"took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.\"
\"We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again,\" Obama said in a somber televised statement, hailing his political hero for his \"fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others.\"
Obama, who ordered flags to fly at half-staff at the White House and public buildings, said Mandela, in his journey from a \"prisoner to a president,\" transformed South Africa and \"moved all of us.\"
The president on Friday phoned Mandela´s widow to express his sympathy.
\"This afternoon, President Obama spoke by phone with Mrs Graca Machel to express the condolences of the Obama family and the American people on the passing of her husband, Nelson Mandela,\" a White House statement said.
\"The president thanked Mrs Machel for the profound influence that Nelson Mandela has had on him, and underscored the power of president Mandela´s example for the people of South Africa and the entire world.\"
America´s first black president met Mandela only once -- in 2005 when he had just become a senator -- but said he was inspired to enter politics by the anti-apartheid hero´s example.
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
SEOUL, Dec 07: North Korea said Saturday it has deported an American veteran of the Korean War who had been detained in the country since October.
Merrill Newman, an 85-year-old from California, was deported \"from a humanitarian viewpoint\", the North´s official news agency KCNA said, citing his \"sincere repentance\" as well as his age and health condition.
Queen Latifah admits having Michelle Obama on her show would be a \"dream.\"
The presenter thinks the U.S. first lady would be the perfect guest for her new \'The Queen Latifah Show,\' which aired for the first time last month, and has even named part of her studio the \'Michelle Obama Lounge\'.
Speaking to Conan O\'Brien on Tuesday night (29.10.13), she said: \"You know a girl can dream right. I think it would be awesome. She (Michelle) hasn\'t been there yet. The whole set is designed like my house basically. That\'s the concept. You know like you come in, you sit, you have dinner at the kitchen table. So I made sure there\'s a kitchen, you know like a dining room table so we can chit chat. Then there\'s the lounge where she is, which is kind of like a family room with a den.
She added: \"So that\'s the hope you know. That she\'ll come on and sit in her very own lounge designed for her.\"
Fortunately, the former actress is no stranger to high profile guests appearing on her show. Superstar Dolly Parton shocked audiences last week when she performed a rap that left Queen Latifah no less than impressed.
She said: \"Lets be clear Dolly Parton is a rapper. Somewhere before all the country, I don\'t know what happens up there in the mountains when you\'re growing up, but she has been spitting rhymes for a very long time - 50 years I\'d say.
She added: \"When she knew she was coming on the show, she was like, \'Oh I\'ll tell you what we are going to do I\'m going to do my rap,\' and I\'m like, \'you do whatever the hell you want you Dolly Parton.\' \"
This Interview was originally published in www.femalefirst.co.uk .
By MARK K. UPDEGROVE 31-10-13
Jimmy Carter left the White House in 1981, but his life of public service was far from over. He has enjoyed the longest post-presidency of any U.S. President, and one of the most productive. His work through the Carter Center, the nonprofit he and Mrs. Carter began in 1982, played a large part in his 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. Nearly 33 years after leaving the White House, the former president, 89, and first lady, 86, speak with Parade on the work they are most proud of, how Washington politics have changed, and the secret to their 67-year marriage.
Check out highlights from the interview below, and be sure to check out this weekend’s issue of Parade for the full story.
On how President Carter hopes history will remember him:
Jimmy Carter: “I’d like to be judged primarily by our work at the Carter Center for the last 32 years. I don’t mean to exclude the White House. But in my more self-satisfied moments, I think about our unwavering promotion of peace and human rights.”
On how he would evaluate the Obama presidency so far:
JC: “He’s done the best he could under the circumstances. His major accomplishment was Obamacare, and the implementation of it now is questionable at best.”
On how President Carter would advise Hillary Clinton regarding a possible run in 2016:
JC: “Most of the democratic candidates consult with me, at least to be polite. I tell them, ‘go ahead and run.’ I use myself as an example. Nobody thought I had a chance in God’s world to be the nominee. Obviously she’ll have a good chance if she does run.”
Grandson James Carter IV uncovered the hidden camera video of Mitt Romney making his comments about the 47 percent. What was President Carter’s reaction?
JC: “I think it was the turning point [in the election]. About six months later, President Obama came to Atlanta, and another grandson, Jason, a state senator, took James over to meet the president, and Obama thanked him profusely. I was very proud.”
In Carter’s day, experts put his legislative batting average at 76%. Has Washington changed?
JC: “Dramatically. The most seminal cause has been the massive influx of money into campaigns. The Citizens United ruling was a terrible mistake. Now even corporations with partial ownership from overseas have an almost unlimited impact on elections…The main way you win elections these days is by destroying the reputation of your opponent. And the winners go to Washington highly imbued with partisanship…The country is polarized—not only in Washington, but back home, too. The other factor is the gerrymandering of districts.”
Mrs. Carter has been active in mental health for more than 40 years. Given the recent shootings, what are her views on whether we have a mental health issue or a gun control issue?
Rosalynn Carter: “There’s a mental health problem in the sense that people are so afraid of the stigma that they don’t get help. But there’s absolutely a gun control problem in the country. Only 4 percent of all violent crimes in the U.S. are committed by people with mental illnesses. It’s just unbelievable to me that the National Rifle Association has so much power. I think Americans probably want gun control but Congress can’t vote for it.”
What’s the secret to your 67-year marriage?
RC: “I think space. He lets me do things I am interested in, and I let him do things he’s interested in.”
Mr. Carter came to the defense of Paula Deen after she admitted to using a racial slur. What advice was offered?
JC: “She’s a very close friend. I told her she ought to publicize what she’s done for very poor people in Savannah, more than two-thirds of whom are African-American. She said she’d done that. What she did was admit what almost every southerner of her age would have to admit—that sometime in their lives they probably used the word. I’m not making an excuse – I don’t need to. I was in the navy when Truman ordained that racial discrimination be over in the military. I came home looking upon African-Americans as equals.”
This interview was originally published in http://www.parade.com .