Prachanda: We are for a People’s Republic of Nepal

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and its People’s Liberation Army waged a ten year people’s war that deposed the Nepali monarchy. Now the CPN-Maoist is in the lead of a popularly elected revolutionary coaltion government charged with drafting a new constitution for the Himilayan country. Their leader, Prachanda, was elected to the post of Prime Minister. Now the Central Committe of the CPN-Maoist is meeting to discuss these questions. The following article is from Nepal CA Portal. Please see also my post, Towards a People’s Republic of Nepal? along with my other posts on Nepal.

We’re for people’s republic: PM

04/10/2008

CPN-Maoist Chairman and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that a federal democratic republic is his party’s transitional objective and its long-term goal is to go for a people’s republic, according to a member of the party’s central committee.

In a political paper presented at the party’s central committee today, Dahal said a people’s republic is suitable for Nepal’s geo-politics, adding, his party would not accept parliamentary democracy as practiced in Nepal.

Dahal’s proposal holds significance because there has been heated discussions in the party over whether it should opt for a people’s republic or stick to a federal democratic republic. The proposal also holds significance for another reason: leaders from various political parties, especially Nepali Congress, have expressed doubts about the Maoists’ commitment to multi-party democracy following Dahal’s recent remarks that his party would not accept a parliamentary system.

“Chairman Prachanda (Pushpa Kamal Dahal) said we will go for a new model of democracy which secures the rights of farmers, workers and marginalized people,” said Maoist central committee leader Barsa Man Pun.

Arguing that parliamentary democracy is not suitable for Nepal, Pun said such democracy failed to ensure the rights of farmers, workers and the marginalized.

He said multi-party democracy doesn’t always mean a parliament. “We will go for multi-party democracy but not for a parliamentary system,” Pun said.

In his political paper divided into three sections–party’s future strategy, achievements of the prime minister’s foreign visits and the party’s role in government–Dahal stated that his party fought for a decade for a people’s republic.

Dahal, during the central commitee meeting Friday, said he has already informed the leaders of India, China and the United States about his party’s stance in favour of a people’s republic during his recent visits to those countries.

Quoting the chairman, Pun said his party would not copy any other model of democracy but would establish a unique system suitable to Nepal.

“Our objective is to establish communism through socialism,” Pun said. “But we will initiate discussions among all other political parties in parliament during the drafting of the new constitution.”

Chairman Dahal’s political paper has proposed changes in the party’s organizational structure. According to the proposal, the party will form a separate bureau headed by party senior leader Mohan Baidhya to run the party organization. Baidhya is known to lead a hardline movement in the Maoist party. Similarly, another senior leader, Post Bahadur Bogati, will head the party in parliament and Nanda Kishore Pun will formally take charge of party’s military wing–People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Prior to his election as prime minister, Dahal was heading both the party organization and military wings.

While stating that the party has achieved great success since its entry into the peace process, the political paper has urged party leaders and cadres across the country to concentrate on drafting a progressive constitution.

Dahal has also proposed that the party’s national convention be held in February 2009 preceded by a nation-wide meeting of cadres in November this year.

Pun said the party leadership will seek suggestions from cadres through the national convention before taking any decision on the party’s future strategy.

Party central leaders will hold deliberations on Dahal’s paper starting tomorrow.

2 responses to “Prachanda: We are for a People’s Republic of Nepal

  1. I’m curious as to what is meant by people’s republic. It has been explained by people like Mohan Baidya as a “non-parliamentary multi-party system of governance”. He goes on to say that “the only weakness of communist rule is the lack of competition among political parties”.

    I’m not sure how this system would work and what is meant. Is this similar to the Polish system where the government had the peasants party and Catholic parliament members allied with the Communists and helping to rule the country?

  2. I’ve assumed it is something like the People’s Republic of China, which has multiple parties that participate in the National People’s Congress and the People’s Political Consultative Conference. In the case of the PRC, though there are multiple United Front parties, the CCP does not give up its leading role. Of course this may be wrong to think the CPN-Maoist means something similar. They say they are doing something new for Nepal, suitable to Nepalese conditions. But at the same time, they differentiate a People’s Republic from parliamentary democracy and from the Federal Democratic Republic. This suggests that other “People’s Republics” should be seen as the model for what they are trying to build in Nepal. Historically the term “People’s Republic” has that meaning. People’s republic, according to Mao, means a united front government of the ‘bloc of four classes’: proletariat, peasantry, urban petty bourgeoisie, and national bourgeoisie. During socialist construction it means a united front of the proletariat, the peasantry, and the urban petty bourgeoisie. Mao’s “On the People’s Democractic Dictatorship” is important to look at here.

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