Maoists win the election in Nepal

Nepali Maoist flags

The Maoist party - former guerrillas CPN(M) - have won a clear majority in last week's elections. But what changes will this mean for Nepal's workers and peasants?

The result so far is for the 240-seats first-past-the-post vote for the Constituent Assembly. Results for the decisive 335-seat proportional representation part of the Assembly will take longer, but the Maoists are expected to do well in this too.

The result is a big surprise that goes against most media predictions. It seems that the Maoists' organisational structure, which extends to the remoter areas, has survived largely intact since the end of their guerilla war. This network served well as an election campaigning machine, particularly in the less accessible rural areas where other parties have no presence. There were reports by other parties of Maoist intimidation of voters and rival candidates. Official election observers, including some representing the UN, were reported to be overstretched in their work, and the Election Commission overseeing the fairness of procedures ordered 106 polling centers to hold re-polling due to irregularities. Nevertheless, most observers seem willing to accept the overall result. (Many who might have otherwise challenged the result may have been put off by the Maoists' pre-election declaration that they would not accept defeat in the election; they claimed to be so sure of victory that a defeat would be evidence of their being cheated!) Even with some irregularities, the vote does appear to reflect a big shift in political allegiances among the population. Perhaps, in the world of generalised corruption that is Nepali politics, the voters decided - better the devil you don't know than the one you do.

What is the programme of the Maoists? They have been eager in recent days to reassure local capitalists, potential foreign investors and regional neighbours. Nepal being a buffer state between China and India, the world's two fastest growing economies, they hope to reap some benefits from the proximity and have been cultivating diplomatic relations for some time. They are quite explicit that they will pursue a programme of economic expansion; one can assume this will include some modest land reform and redistribution, attempted job creation and will follow the model of other Asian economies in attracting foreign investment with Economic Processing Zones where major tax concessions are available to foreign capital enticed by a plentiful supply of dirt-cheap labour.

Reading statements made in recent days by Maoist party leaders one can see new government policies in the making;

The Maoists central leadership has said that the party which has swung the country’s politics during the freshly concluded CA poll will not deviate from the “globalization and liberalization” process that was on in the world today.

Outlining the would be economic policy of the Maoists party when in power, Comrade Prachanda said that “we will not confiscate the properties of the owners contrary to what has been disseminated in order to malign the Maoist party”.

According to him, after the political revolution that has just finished, the Maoists will henceforth concentrate its entire efforts aimed at bringing about what he called “economic revolution in the country”.

Rest assured, we are in favor of the capitalist economy”, Prachanda said.

Talking on the Maoists militias, Prachanda said that they could be used as “industrial security force” time permitting.

This may mean that the troublesome bored youth of the Young Communist League (see earlier report) - demobilised Maoist guerillas at a loose end with no clear role in the post-war society - will now be deployed to maintain a militarised labour discipline to make foreign investment even more attractive.

Prachanda also had all praise for the Indian establishment for all that the Indian government did in creating an atmosphere which could bring the Maoists back to Nepal.

“I hope India will continue its support to Nepal”, Prachanda added.

Prachanda also made it clear that his government would continue its relations with China, the European Union, World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the IMF.
Telegraphnepal.com 17 Apr 08

And so all the regular 'anti-imperialist' sloganising so often heard coming from the Maoist camp is quickly airbrushed from history and disappears into the Himalayan mist.

... Dr. Bhattarai said that the “mantle of economic revolution would be handed over to the businessmen/industrialists and that we in the government would only facilitate their march towards economic revolution”.

We would like to assure everyone that once the Maoists come (into government) the investment climate will be even more favourable. There shouldn’t be any unnecessary misunderstanding about that. The rumours in the press about our intention are wrong, there are reports of capital flight, but this shouldn’t happen. And the other aspect is that once there is political stability, the investment climate will be even better. Our other agenda is economic development and for this we want to mobilise domestic resources and capital, and also welcome private foreign direct investment. The only thing we ask is to be allowed to define our national priorities.

The "domestic resources and capital" available to the Maoists to "mobilise" are the extremely cheap labour force and the natural resources, primarily potential hydro power projects with all their possible damaging ecological impact.

We want to fully assure international investors already in Nepal that we welcome them here, and we will work to make the investment climate even better than it is now. Just watch, the labour-management climate will improve in our time in office. What happened in the past two years with the unions happened during a transition phase....
Nepali Times 16 Apr 2008

This translates as - "yes, we have in the past called strikes (to further the interests of the Party rather than the workers) by Maoist-dominated unions to prevent printing and distribution of newspapers who gave us unfavourable coverage; and we have attacked and kidnapped officials of rival unions such as GEFONT and DECONT (see allegations here )- but now investing capitalists can expect as firm a hand applied to maintain discipline in the workplace and minimise disruption to profit creation. This is in the grand tradition of Bolshevik labour relations started by Lenin".

The Maoist ambition appears to be a sustained and speedy growth along the lines of China - but they will be starting from a far less favourable socio-economic base, in far less favourable conditions as a global recession begins to bite. The best that the Maoist state can probably hope for - at least in the short-term - is to be used as another out-sourcing area where cheap unskilled labour is exploited by its larger industrial neighbours. But that is quite enough to enrich the new ruling elite. And if, after a few years of discovering that the new whip hurts as much as the old whip, the Nepalese poor then become disillusioned with their Maoist masters and look like voting them out of power; we may then find the Maoists announcing that their industrial development has finally 'abolished feudalism' and completed the 'bourgeois-democratic revolution'. Therefore parliamentary democracy will have become obsolete and it will be time for the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' in the form of an indefinite one-party Maoist state.

Posted By

Red Marriott
Apr 17 2008 23:40

Share

Attached files

Comments

Red Marriott
Jun 4 2008 23:43

No one is afraid of counter-opinion, but neither should unlimited space be given to uninspired dogmatism. More than enough space has been given here to those supporters and apologists for Maoism. No facts have been deleted that disprove any of the criticisms in the several articles I've written. All that was deleted was another repetitive rant. Maoism is another form of management of class society, not the abolition of class society nor a road leading to it. This site is about views that are alternative to that retarded vision. If you want to defend Maoism then go start a thread on the forums. This space is for comments on the actual content of the articles, not the mere defending of retarded/long discredited state capitalist political dogmas.

The pro-Maoist criticisms haven't actually refuted a single fact of what I said, only stated the predictable pro-Maoist line. This article shows how integrated into the capitalist ruling class the Maoists are; and ruling classes are exploiters of poorer classes - workers and peasants etc. Capitalist development is capitalist exploitation in motion, however some Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist hacks try to justify it.

As for the undoubted horrors of Stalinism and Maoism you attempt to gloss over; there are many accounts from gulag survivors who will tell you that some improvements in literacy and healthcare for the civilian population are definitely not adequate compensation for the totalitarian repression they and millions of others suffered.

OliverTwister
Jun 4 2008 23:59
Quote:
unquestioningly deny any sort of positive achievements or anything good came out of these experiences or that we could possibly learn anything from them

The only worthwhile justification that stalinists offered at the time (the 1930s) or since is that tough measures were necessary to be able to stand up to Hitler and world imperialism.

But if that were really the case, why did Stalin shoot Tukhachevsky?

For that matter even if one thought there was something of value to learn from Bolshevism (I generally don't), it's pretty simple to see that Stalinism was the negation (and supercession) of Bolshevism - of the 110 Central Committee members at the time of the October Revolution, 105 were killed in the Moscow Trials.

skeletor
Jun 5 2008 00:47

Admin - uninformed personal insults and inaccuracies deleted. Repeat; this is not the place to defend Maoist ideology - go to forums for that.

skeletor
Jun 5 2008 00:49

For the record not every maoist supports Stalin, I certainly do not support Stalin and it didn't seem that the poster oliver twister was quoting supports stalin either

OliverTwister
Jun 5 2008 03:59

So when do you think the soviet union stopped being socialist? and on what grounds?

If you say 1953 or 1956, and because the revisionist clique around krushchev took power, then you implicitly support stalin. You are directly equating socialism with one of its most vicious negations.

skeletor
Jun 5 2008 12:57

I don't actually think I have an RCP, Trotskyist based date on the date when socialism left. I think that as Stalin consolidated power many things about the original Bolshevik program were gradually overthrown, (Birth control, free abortion, intellectual freedom, etc) as the country turned into a draconian workers state. I think the Soviet Union needs to be understand for its complexity and when communist groups slap a date on as being the end of "the socialist dream" frankly thats bull shit and a short cut to thinking. Also as for the claim about fascism needed a strong and disciplined counter weight, that also holds no weight as we have seen that guerilla people's war can effectively shut down a fascist war machine just as well minus the terror. The need for gulags and coercion is unnecessary and excessive (to say the least). Stalin being the most brutal example of this after Lenin passed away.

In short I don't think I have a date, but further discussion on the subject is needed.

petey
Jun 5 2008 13:41
Quote:
repetitive, boring, predictable pro-maoist 3rd worldist rant deleted

you forgot 'mocking' and 'arrogant'

Quote:
p.s what the hell is murderation?

i'm not surprised a maoist would claim not to know

skeletor
Jun 6 2008 15:53

seeing as how its not a word....

skeletor
Jun 7 2008 01:43

Admin - cretinous insults etc deleted.

petey
Jun 22 2008 10:34

maoists quit govt!?

Quote:
Nepal was thrown into political limbo yesterday after the Maoists quit the interim government of the newly republican nation and demanded the prime minister’s resignation.

Nepal’s former Maoist rebels stormed out of the government late on Friday, accusing a rival party of clinging to power despite being defeated in landmark elections in the Himalayan country two months ago.

link

Red Marriott
Jun 24 2008 22:37

Well the elections were for the Constituent Assembly, making of a new Constitution etc - so it's disputed whether the victorious Maoists have won the 'right' to form the government. The defeated Congress party is saying the victory doesn't give an automatic right to the Maoists to claim all the top positions in what is supposed to be a coalition govt. They also say the Maoists should disband their militant gangsterish youth wing (YCL) along with other reforms, such as integrating their guerillas into the national army. The Maoists are doing what they always do when not getting their own way - flouncing out and hinting at dark consequences if they don't get what they want (which they usually do).

petey
Jun 26 2008 16:03

the latest:

Quote:
Nepal's interim Prime Minister, Girija Prasad Koirala, has announced that he has resigned.

Correspondents say the move paves the way for the former rebel leader, Prachanda, who heads the Maoist party, to succeed Mr Koirala.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7475112.stm