Nepal: Maoists and Politicians Battle the Voters


February 8, 2006: Aggressive army patrolling, and attacks on Maoist camps, has prevented the Maoists from massing large numbers of fighters for attacks on towns and army bases. But there are still Maoist military leaders who can muster a few hundred fighters. The Maoists are trying to move into the urban areas, if only because they are encountering growing resistance in rural areas. The Maoists and political parties oppose today's municipal elections, because they were called by the king. Most of the elections are being carried out anyway.

February 7, 2006: Now the rebels are willing to negotiate with the king, and accept the king in a figurehead role. The rebels have allied with the political parties, with the idea of using this alliance to get the coalition into power. At that point, the Maoists would dump the democratic parties and establish a communist dictatorship.

February 6, 2006: Several Maoist attacks around the country left eight dead.

February 5, 2006: Maoists declared another general strike, and many merchants closed their shops rather than risk a terrorist attack. The strike is supposed to last all week, and interfere with the elections on the 8th. Maoist general strikes tend to get weaker the longer they last.

February 4, 2006: In an attempt to cut down on drive-by terrorist attacks, the government has banned motorbikes from carrying a passenger behind the driver (this is where the

February 3, 2006: In western Nepal, several hundred Maoists attacked a police camp. But they met organized resistance, and after less than an hour, retreated.

February 2, 2006: Maoists are increasing their use of terror against candidates in the upcoming elections. The Maoists see elections as unfavorable to their cause. The threats have caused 2,200 (of 4,000) positions to lack candidates, because of Maoist threats. Some 600 positions are being voted on.

February 1, 2006: In the capital, police arrested three dozen journalists who were protesting royal rule. In western Nepal, Maoists bombed a hospital.


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