Optimistic Look at Maoists Sweep in Nepal Election

Once again, Nepalis surprised themselves. The Maoists sweep (still to complete but it is confirmed that the Maoists will establish itself as the leading party in the Nepal CA Election as they are way ahead than any other political outfit of Nepal) was something that the political analysts, media and leaders failed to predict.

Nepalis voted for change, and no wonder the new party with new agenda, was the one that the people hoped would be best for bring the change.

And, the old parties failed to understand the wave – they went for same old faces (in most of cases, ignoring youth who the large portion of the voters, youth, would have easily associated themselves with). And, they suffered as the top leaders failed to win.

The election was held after eight years in Nepal, and the large portion of the voters voted for the first time. Those grew up witnessing one of the most troubled times of the country and hearing the frustrations of parents towards the political parties.

Now that Maoists have got the people’s mandate, the worse fear for us is that they could deviate themselves from the democratic process and try to establish a communist nation (which looks largely unlikely).Otherwise, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the victory. Here are three of mine:

  • Success of Peace Process: The win of Maoists means that the exemplary peace process will not be derailed. Democracy wins here. Had Maoists suffered a heavy defeat, there could be a danger to the process.
  • Change! Change!! Change!! : If any party is likely to bring revolutionary changes in Nepal, it has to be Maoists. They are under pressure to do so otherwise when the general election will be held in two (or two and half) years, they are likely to suffer heavily as the people will put them on the same footings as of the ‘old talk-big-do-nothing parties’.
  • More Changes: Well, now Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (UML) have to look back at their policy, strategy and tactics and review it hard. They need to go back to people and reconcile and it would be good if all party started caring for the people (something that they
    seriously missed in last 18 years). And, next time, there will be new faces for all those parties.

Congratulations to Maoists! May you change the face of Nepal (after all that is going to give benefits to all Nepalis regardless of whom they voted for). And, also for all other parties and people, let’s give up the party politics after the election and join hands for the nation building! (of course, the parties can resume party things in the General Election).

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Nepal Votes Peacefully

Nepalis continue to surprise themselves… and the World. Didn’t we?

Today, Nepalis thronged at the voting booths to cast their votes in the Constituent Assembly Election that surprised almost everybody (the preliminary assessment is more than sixty percent vote casted). And, moreover, it went peaceful.

Despite the Young Communist League (YCL) behaviors, poll boycott calls by armed groups in Terai and the pro-monarchist anti-feeling (for the assembly elected by the election is set to declare Nepal a republic), it went peaceful – and that’s something that made everyone happy.

Four killed and the election suspended in 33 booths. The killing gives sad feelings but it’s less than in last parliamentary election (then it was half-a-dozen and that was not after a bloody conflict that killed 11,000 people). 33 is a small number among 20,889 total booths.

A Historic Day! A Historic Success!

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The Fear is Still On!

It’s 5 PM now, and the voting for the CA election in Nepal begins exactly after 14 hours. Ten hours after that – it closes, if without major incident, then in next 24 hours, Nepalis will be celebrating one of the most important success of their lives.

Isn’t that great? Certainly, it is.

But there could be hiccups. Until now, apart from inter-party fights and two sad killings of candidates, nothing looks like threatening to the polls.

Or is that that the silence before the storm?

One of the most suspiciously taken issues is the silence of King Gyanendra. Well, he is silent (for many of us, he has no options) and for few of those little ‘conspiracy theorists’, he is PLANNING!

Planning what? Not necessarily to disrupt the polls, but possibly to get CA members to vote for keeping the institution as a powerless yet respected body.

The Telegraph Weekly had main news today titled ‘His Silence’ and it goes on to say that the King is equipped with the agreement signed with parties with India and US as a witness in April 2005 that promises to save the monarchy.

We knew that, didn’t we? Since the King stepped down in April 2005 after visit of an Indian envoy, the talk of the agreement is everywhere. And, we more or less believe in that point.

If that is that, and if the monarchy remains, it will be a grievance for all of us.

But, that will come later. The poll is the first priority. I pray that it would end with acceptable results and that the country would at least know the path to go on!

Sadly for all of us, the violent abruption in the polls still looms as a concern – the fear is still on!

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It’s Time to Vote

The Election for the Members of Constituent Assembly of Nepal is almost here. April 10 is going to be a historic day for the country, and its our opportunity to feel like we contributed to the historic milestone (of course most of us were on the streets during the April Uprising that is foundation to what is going to happen) so

LETS VOTE!

I can not wait to vote. I refused to go on a trip to eastern Nepal (that could have been financially beneficial) because I would have skipped voting. Here I feel sad for those Nepalis leaving outside the country who will all be unable to vote. And, also for my journalist colleagues, who are performing their duties outside their place, because they all will be unable to vote. The government turned deaf ears to the demands of the journalist organizations, most notably Federation of Nepalese Journalists, to provide the journalists right to vote in the proportional system from where they are.

When the Election Act was passed, the rights were given to army, police, Maoists army in cantonment and other government officials on duty but not the journalists! It’s sad but most of these journalists will be watchdog of the election and their presence will certainly help for free and fair election and that’s nothing less than the VOTING!

* * *

Today is the last day of the election campaign! And, while I am writing this in my room, I can hear UML campaign outside my house. Nepali Congress and Maoists have long ago completed this area.

Notable in this election was the use of media by the political parties to campaign – the ‘affiliated weeklies’ and Maoists’ own daily was doing it all the time through news but for the mainstream dailies – for they were trying hard for balanced coverage – blatant support wasn’t the case. So, the parties gave advertisements to them – all of them including RPP Nepal which vocal for ‘democracy with King’. I also saw UML ad on television.

Well, then newspapers are going to be filled up with ads from the parties in next elections (which should happen within two and half years – six months of it being possible extension).

* * *

The news of electoral violence hasn’t decreased. Once again, Maoists and their Young Communist League leading the wrong way. They are beating the candidates, blocking other parties’ campaigns and even blocking journalists from going to other parties’ campaigns. That’s sad, very sad.

And, Prachanda asked them all to be ‘Gandhi for a week’. I am afraid, are they supposed to do anything after the election?

* * *

With the satisfaction of election being held, there are also fears of what next? What mandate the people will give? And, what if Maoists lose heavily?

The questions can not be answered now, let’s see what’s in stake, but I am sure that April 10 and weeks after it are going to be very, very interesting and I hope that they will bring good results to the country.

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