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Archive for August 29th, 2008

MRZine: The Nepali Revolution Moves On

Posted by n3wday on August 29, 2008

This article was published in the Monthly Review Zine.

The Nepali Revolution Moves On

by Bill Templer


In a historic vote on 15 August 2008 in Kathmandu, Pushpa Kamal Dahal (aka Prachanda), chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M), was elected first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, where now a “Maoist leads from the top of the world.” Prachanda garnered 80% of the votes cast in the Constituent Assembly. This turn came on the heels of the surprise election of Ram Baran Yadav of the Congress Party as new President of the Republic on 22 July, a move then regarded as a momentary serious blow to the CPN-M.

In elections on 10 April 2008, the CPN-M gained a clear popular mandate (40% of all elected delegates to the Constituent Assembly) after a decade-long armed struggle by the CPN-M against the recently deposed monarchy. As Shyam Shrestha stressed after the elections: “The Nepali people are rising, their level of arousal is amazing. They are more ahead in consciousness than the leadership of the political parties. The feudal class will try to resist change, but the CA composition and the level of awareness of the people is very high, they cannot withstand this pressure.”

With Prachanda now at the helm of state, the CPN-M is expected to gain ministerial control of a number of key ministries, as the CPN-M and its movement are given a chance to prove themselves: “to show they are serious about the social transformations in whose name they went to war. They have a very strong presence in the villages, and many now long for them to be able to build on the starts they have made at eroding caste and gender discrimination. They also promise a more equitable system of land ownership.”
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