Nepal Poll Results: Naturalness Vs Surprise
Results of the Constituent Assembly Poll: Naturalness Vs Surprise
The victory of the Maoist ex-rebels in Nepal's constituent assembly elections amazed many blind critics and elite pundits distanced from grassroot agenda and rural psychology. Despite formal acceptance of results, the status-quoist mindset has not accepted the poll results in essence.
However for many acquainted with the ground realities of Nepal, the poll results obtained by the former rebels is not surprising at all. Perhaps it was a phenomenon that has stunned the international community because the manufacture of opinions had taken place in a different way.
The Nepali Congress and the United Marxist-Leninist (UML) had never analyzed Maoists accurately. They used to call Maoist insurgency sometimes pure ‘terrorism’ and sometimes ‘political issue’. Their outlook on the insurgency was mistaken in political and socio-economic analysis. Therefore, they had been operating their party activities on the basis of their traditionalist and status-quoist analysis, which was utterly wrong. Because of their unchanged thought patterns, they have mainly viewed the poll results more in a negative way than in a normal way. This reflects their unchanged mindset that used to view elections as a fierce game involving money, media, and muscle.
The Maoists initiated their armed insurgency, which they refer to as ‘People’s War’ in 1996 as the Nepali Congress government rejected the Maoists’ proposal for state restructuring. During insurgency, the Nepali Congress and UML never comprehensively and in-depth analyzed the underlying factors behind the rapid expansion of the Maoist insurgency across the country. They, instead, were busy finding out ways to rule Nepal for ever with foreign military aid. In 2001, they handed over the responsibility of suppressing the rebels to the king, who in 2002, sidelined them with a blame that they failed to rule.
Despite the unavailability of exact death statistics, media often mention that about 15,000 people were killed during the decade-long insurgency. Most of them were killed by the state run by the Nepali Congress, the UML and other royalist factions). None of them have apologized for their involvement.
Thousands of people, who lost their nearest and dearest during state suppression, attacks and search-and-destroy operations, voted against the involved parties. Thousands of people, whose family members and relatives have disappeared and about whom the state has not given any information to this day despite repeated pressures from all sides, voted against the involved parties.
Similarly, thousands of security forces, whom the state mobilized to fight the rebels instead of having talks for conflict management, voted in the proportional poll against the involved parties. Besides, people voted against corruption.
Most powerful leaders were defeated. Some of them were jailed previously for corruption scandals. Most of those who took up politics as a private commercial enterprise have been defeated by the people.
However, some take such results unnaturally. They think it is unexpected. But ordinary masses, who actually used the power of their vote, take this poll results very naturally. People are not surprised at all. Only the leaders defeated by the people are surprised.
People, in fact, voted for a better change. They saw the possibility of change in the country through a new leadership, i.e. Maoists, who have never reached power before.
Poll Results Vs New Bottle-Old Wine Politics
Indeed, the results of the constituent assembly has slapped status-quoists very badly. This is the main reason why they have begun to oppose any possibility of newer changes in public policies. Previously, they used to give the highest priority to what handfuls of businessmen and international preferred. Contrary to this, Maoists have a clear pro-public stance. This stance did contribute to the Maoist gains in the recently held constituent assembly polls.
But many commission-oriented businessmen, political bigwigs and state officials, including those addicted to a high margin of profit in war supplies, have become angry at the poll results. They might be exercising to see any other possibility to derail the peace process.
It is an obvious truth that more than 60 Maoist party workers have been killed during the two-year peace process. People should thank them for not retaliating the attacks. They have remained more self-restrained. Because of their commitment to the ongoing peace process, people have actually awarded them in the constituent assembly polls.
But some leaders belonging to the Nepali Congress and the UML have demanded for the dissolution of the Maoists’ youth wing known as Y.C.L (young communist league). Mostly the leaders defeated in the poll have put this demand as a pre-condition for co-working with Maoists, who have been urging other parties to join their imminent government.
The YCL is an unarmed sister organization of the Maoists, who point out the fact that the Nepali Congress and the UML also have their youth wings known as the Tarun Dal and the Democratic National Youth Union.
Growing Aggravation of Mental Perplexities Among Previous Rulers
The previously ruling political parties, the Nepali Congress, the UML and others, still do have mental perplexities regarding the implementation of the provision of republic added as an amendment in the interim constitution in December 2007. They want to prolong the debate over how to implement the republican provision. They want to tease those who won most seats, i.e. Maoists.
But the Nepalis want quick changes because they have already waited for decades. They prefer the leadership that can make quick decisions and quickly move to implement them.
Should the Nepali Congress and the UML maintain their mental perplexities regarding the procedures of bidding farewell to monarchy, they will be more cut off from the millions of people who took out to the streets in the 19-day historical April uprising that toppled the direct royal regime. People have already given their verdict that they no longer want to maintain monarchy in Nepal.
If certain political parties hesitate to cooperate with the coming government for implementing the people’s verdict through the first session of the constituent assembly, this may be understood as a betrayal.
Perhaps no political organizations interested in long-term politics would dare to go against the people’s verdict, soon going to be constitutionalized. Moreover, even those deliberately engaged in the final efforts to preserve as far as possible their traditional privileges and embezzling environment will not say they are against changes.
But their attempts will emerge more subtly and in micro forms. For exmaple, certain political leaderships previously notorious for corruption, ill-governance and resistance to change approaches and now rejected by people in the poll have begun to claim that they should still get the helm of leadership despite its inability to justify the claim. This is a sign of growing aggravation of their mental perplexities, and people still fear that the peace process may be derailed due to such power-mongering characteristics.
However, should the progressive forces unite and make wise policies to mobilize people peacefully so as to make the peace process a grand success, the fighters for petty interests will never succeed in promoting war and embezzlement businesses.
Tags: Nepal , Constituent Assembly Poll , Results , Peace Process , Armed Insurgency , Maoists , War Business , Nepali Congress , Uml , Regressive Forces
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