Tuesday, December 17, 2013

for debate .from canadian newspaper Partisan on Nepal election


A New Chapter of the People’s Struggle

A new chapter in the struggle for New Democracy in Nepal has opened after the November 19 election for a new Constituent Assembly. The two main bourgeois parties—the Nepali Congress and the “Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist)”—came out on top, while the ex-Maoists gathered around Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) and Baburam Bhattarai have miserably collapsed, finishing a distant third.
Supposed to draft a new constitution for Nepal, the Constituent Assembly was formed in 2008 after an historic election following 10 years of civil war and a popular uprising that led to the overthrow of the monarchy. After winning the election, the leadership of the Maoist party became mired in the parliamentary game, while some of them even wallowed in corruption. In the end, the Constituent Assembly—which actually plays the role of legislature—has never managed to do what it was created for, and the domination of India and Nepali reactionary classes were maintained and even strengthened since 2008.
Last year, the militant base and militant leaders of the Maoist party—those who supported and waged the people’s war—broke with the Prachanda-Bhattarai clique and finally created a separate party called the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist.
Comrades from the CPN-Maoist called for a boycott and vigorously campaigned against the November 19 election. Hundreds of protests and rallies were held across the country and culminated with a 10-day bandh (a work stoppage) that paralyzed much of the economic activity, including in Kathmandu. At least a hundred party cadres were arrested by the police, but the regime ultimately didn’t dare to carry out its threat to ban the Party and to arrest its main leaders.
Nepalese and Western media hurried to praise the “participation rate of 70%” in the November 19 election, but they didn’t mentioned that the number of people registered on the electoral roll has dropped from 17.6 in 2008 to only 12.2 million this time. According to official figures, some 8.5 million people have actually voted in 2013, while more than 11.1 million did so five years ago.
After the recent election, the two major bourgeois parties agreed to work jointly for drafting a new constitution that would formalize the status quo. For its part, the group led by Prachanda and Bhattarai is deciding between challenging the legitimacy of the new assembly and taking part in a new “national consensus” on constitution drafting.
The boycott campaign waged by the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist allowed the militant communist party to test their ability to regain political influence and to reconnect with significative sections of the masses around the revolutionary project. At the time of going to press, its Central Committee was announcing the launch of a fresh campaign for the dissolution of the new Constituent Assembly and was debating which tactics they should put forward to revive the struggle for a revolutionary New Democracy.

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