See the “History in the Making” sidebar (on the main page) for updates and info as things develop with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the historic elections there. The official information from the Elections commission is here. The info from the Nepal Elections Portal should also prove helpful.
What is basically clear is this:
1.) The CPN (Maoist) controlled basically the entire rural portion of the country during the decade-long protracted people’s war. The communist movement has been a leading force in Nepal for some time. The Maoists established themselves through the people’s war by building dual power in the rural areas, where they acted as a popular government. Through a combination of radical land reform, student organizing, and labor work, they were able to build a strong base among workers and peasants of Nepal. The U.S., tied down in its losing battle with the national resistance in Iraq, has been unable to directly intervene militarily thus far.
2.) Now that the initial vote counting is underway for the constituent assembly elections, it is very clear that the Maoists are sweeping an overwhelming majority. Of the two other major parties, the Nepali Congress Party has won significantly less then they had expected, and the CPN (Unified Marxist-Leninist) has dropped out altogether. It would take a huge upset for the Maoists to come out shy of tremendous control of the constituent assembly and parliament. This gives the lie to all of the nonsense about the Maoists ruling the countryside through terror and shows that they are immensely popular among the Nepalese workers and peasants. Jimmy Carter is calling for the U.S. to drop the “terrorist” label form the CPN (Maoist) and recogize their democratically elected government. From here the Maoists say they will build a New Democratic Republic.
3.) King Gyanendra is now completely isolated and nobody but a handful of Royalists, a few big landlords and Hindu fundamentalists, still support him since his seizure of power in 2005 and the repressive crackdowns since. He and the monarchy he represents will never be a force in Nepal again. The future of Nepal is not certain, but one thing that is certain is this: The Monarchy is finished and feudalism is on the way out.
So what happens next?
Maoist leader, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai gave an excellent interview following his election in his constituency. Asked to assess the election results, Bhattarai said, “The people were looking for total change. We advanced the political agenda for total change during the decade-long people’s war. We have people from different castes, ethnicities, genders and people from different regions. The main agenda of the people’s war was to restructure the state. It took 10 years of the people’s war to establish our political agenda. The people felt that the country’s socio-political and economic structure needed a complete overhaul. So we couldn’t look at things through our old lenses. The media and the elite missed the picture. As a result, the CA results surprised many. The ground realities had changed and they helped us to emerge as the largest party.”
This is what Comrade Gaurav of the CPN (Maoist) said would happen back in July 2007:
“In Nepal we are making New Democratic Revolution and according to the three stage of the People’s War it is in the concluding stage of ‘strategic offensive’. In order to achieve the countrywide victory, further preparation was felt necessary and the revolution had to take a new course. It was necessary to enter into the process of negotiation with the seven political parties to launch a strong mass movement whose immediate aim was to overthrow the monarchy, which is the representative institution of feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism and comprador bourgeoisie and establish democratic republic. It is true that the term ‘republic’ represents only a system without monarchy. There are many types of republic. What type of republic will be established and institutionalized in Nepal depends on who wins the majority in the election of the constituent assembly. If the left force gets majority in the assembly, there will be ‘People’s Democratic Republic’ in place and the constitution will be written and promulgated accordingly. In this context, it is definitely a new experiment based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and risk is involved into it. This new experiment should bring the desired result. If there is indication that the experiment is not going to deliver acceptable results, we should dare to deter such experiment and should be prepared for other experiments which can deliver the desired results. If we feel that the new experiment is not going to deliver the desired result, no body can compel us to be sticking into the same. In that case, the revolution will take a new course and further new experiment will be required that can help revolution to succeed.” (“New Tactics: challenges and opportunities“, The Worker, #11, July 2007, pp. 11-14.)
To get a better understanding of the events in Nepal, interested persons should also check out some of the CPN (Maoist)’s writings at the Single Spark Collective‘s Learn from Nepal project, as well as some of the analysis there. Check out Mao Zedong’s On New Democracy as well.