The Long March into Parliament - Nepali Maoists take their seats

The Long March into Parliament - Nepali Maoists take their seats

The leaders of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on Monday (15th) entered Parliament, 10 years after leaving it to begin their guerilla war.

The goal of stripping power from the monarchy has been achieved - as much by last year's widespread pro-democracy street protests as by their guerilla activity (see previous coverage here). The King is no longer head of state, has no political power and has been relieved of much royal property and other assets. Parliament has still to decide whether the monarchy is to be retained in a ceremonial role (as in the UK) as preferred by the moderates, or completely abolished as favoured by the Maoists. A temporary Constitution is in place while this question is debated.

UN officials have overseen the decommissioning of the guerilla army and their disarming, which begins today. Politically the CPN(M) has gained immensely from the war, returning to Parliament with far greater prestige and more seats; these have been allocated by the interim administration until the next General Election is held. This is dependent on resolution of the Constitutional issues, including the role of monarchy and demands of ethnic minorities for greater representation, such as in the Terai on the southern plains where there are calls for a separate federal region.

The CPN(M) will surely still spout some of the rhetoric of 'class struggle' and shroud things in terms of 'marxist ideology'. But in reality the Maoists are set to enjoy the juicy privileges that are the lot of the political class in Nepal. Routine corruption oils the wheels of power and the social status is accompanied by an extremely comfortable standard of living far above the poverty of the masses of their 'constituents'. Mao's slogan is verified, once again; for the Nepalese Maoists, political power has truly grown out of the barrel of a gun.

Posted By

Red Marriott
Jan 17 2007 14:42


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