Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Written For Green Left. You saw it HERE FIRST

Nepal Maoist Unify with Smaller Parties-

On Monday the 12th of January the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unity Centre - Masal) merged together to form a new party, the Unified communist Party Nepal (Maoist). The UCPN(M) hope this is just the first of many unifications, and is currently having discussions with other smaller leftist parties and currents.

Kantipur Press reported on January 24 that CPN(ML) Revolutionary leader Navaraj Sharma said that an agreement on party unity had already been agreed on in principle.
Leaders from the CPN- United, CPN United Marxist as well as leaders from certain elements of the CPN(UML) have also expressed their interest in greater leftist unity.

This unity is of a great importance given the actions of the main opposition group, the Nepali Congress. The Nepali congress and its leader G.P Koirala have been publically calling for a “Broad Democratic Alliance” to overthrow the government led by the Maoist party, which was overwhelmingly elected to power in April last year.

In reality this “democratic alliance” is an alliance of the rich and powerful reaching out to bureaucrats in some parties that feel their positions are being threatened by the public upsurge since the People’s Movement in 2006 which disposed of the monarchy in 2006.

The response to this threat to the progressive government, from within Nepal, but also and increasingly from foreign interference, particularly that of India, the UCPN(M) has formulated a new strategy to carry out the pro-people budget and write a pro-people constitution. In the progressive Nepali paper UCPN(M) central leader C. P. Gajurel wrote of the new strategy “it is necessary to wage struggle from various fronts- the street, constituent assembly and government”.

The Chairman of the UCPN(M), Prachanda, elaborated on these themes at a mass meeting of thousands of supporters that was held to celebrate the unification. “We want to write a constitution which protects the rights and benefits of the peasants and the workers, though the constituent assembly. To accomplish this historical task, we have no other weapon than the unity of the Nepalese people and the unity of revolutionaries”.

Prachanda further warned opposition groups that “a big hurricane of the struggles will come and people will capture the state power if ‘kings’, feudal lords and their puppets try to overturn the present government in the assistance of foreign powers.” He continued “(We) will either advance ahead or go back to the status quo. People should be in continuous struggle. The struggle is for victory in the constituent assembly. The peace process will meet an incident if there is no struggle against the enemies of the people.”

But the Maoists are struggling not just with problems outside of the government but also within it. Government partners CPN(UML) and the Madheshi Peoples Rights Forum have been openly critical of the Maoists and are contemplating leaving the government. Implementing the budget has thus proven difficult for the UCPN(M) due to the uncooperative attitude of its government partners and the state bureaucracy. Attempts to increase efficiency and reduce corruption in the bureaucracy have been resisted by the employees in the civil service. These issues mean that the implementation of the budget has been severely disrupted and five months after the formation of the Maoist led government, it has not been successful so far in bringing about the relief to the people of Nepal as intended.

As the situation polarizes a tense situation has developed and key issues such as the writing of the constitution, the creation of the new National Army and the Madheshi issues go unresolved. This has resulted in unsustainable situation with the UCPN(M) in one corner and the NC in the other, with the UML and Madehsi parties stuck in the middle caught between the progressive interests of their following and the conservative interest of the leadership. This untenable situation must surely come to a head for Nepal to be able to achieve any sort of progress, alternatively it will remain in the crushing poverty that has been shouldered by its people for centuries.