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.
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.