Nepal: Maoists Win The Election

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April 17,2008: After a decade of violence, that left over 13,000 dead, the Maoists have won the national elections, taking a majority of the seats in the parliament. The Maoists have pledged to abolish the monarchy, establish a federal republic (to placate ethnic minorities) and support a market economy (to have a shot at promised economic growth, and to have someone to tax.) First, they have to use their majority in the 610 special assembly for writing a new constitution. Then they have to use their majority in the 240 seat parliament to form a government.

The Maoist win was tainted by weeks of growing Maoist violence against rival parties, and hostile voters. Many threats were made, and the leader of the Maoists said his group would not accept defeat at the polls. Foreign observers believe that over 90 percent of the campaign violations came from the Maoists. The violence has involved bombs and gunfire, and has left several hundred dead and wounded over the month leading up to the April 10th voting. But the voters wanted change. The monarchy and traditional parties have left most Nepalis poor and unhappy with the corruption and inefficiency. The Maoists, however, have plenty of factions, and quite a few opportunists. It's not certain that the Maoists will bring change, but more likely just another bunch of inept opportunists.

 

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