Do or Die: Constituent Assembly Election on Nov 22

By Dinesh Wagle

Hello everyone,

Mark this day in your calendar: November 22, 2007 or Mangsir 6, 2064. The meeting of the Council of Ministers today decided to hold the Constituent Assembly elections on that day. A meeting of the eight-party leaders yesterday had mandated the government to announce the date for the CA polls.

An informal meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of the eight-party alliance held under the coordination of Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel at his office yesterday gave the consent to the government. Earlier, while meeting with PM Koirala, the Election Commission had suggested the government to fix election date for November 23.

United We Vote for a democratic republic Nepal: This is a do or die situation for the political and government leadership because if they fail in holding the election this time, no one and nothing will save them from the downfall. The public also has the important role to play. They also have responsibility. We should not just rely on government machinery. We must play our role as aware individuals by helping in every possible way to make this plan a successful reality. Lets start the election campaign. Lets spread the word. Many people still don’t know about the CA. Tell them about CA and Loktantrik Ganatantra. On November 22, we will cast our vote for the formation of a democratic republic of Nepal.

During an eight-party meeting two weeks ago, Koirala had suggested that the elections be held on November 26.The CA elections had earlier been slated for June 20 (four days ago), but it was postponed after the Election Commission asked more time for the preparations. The polls will be the first post-war elections and the elected body- the CA-will rewrite Nepal’s constitution.

UWB Correction: The election date (English) is Nov 22, not 26 as we earlier reported. Nov 26 was Prime Minister Koirala’s date! Converting from BS (Mangsir 6) to AD sometime is a headache! They are even talking about changing our BS calendar making New Year in Chaitra instead of the current Baishakh. And, because of the change, marriages could be held also in the month of Kartik! Anyway, we regret for the error.

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69 thoughts on “Do or Die: Constituent Assembly Election on Nov 22”

  1. Even spam leaders are telling that it is difficult to held the CA election. They are making this serious matter (CA elction) nothing but a Joke.

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  2. Naatak saathi ho ..naatak .. constituent assembly is a naatak. Democracy has gone for ever in Nepal. Its all Indian design – design of gulping down Nepal.

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  3. Girija does not have any vitamin to conduct elections. His Bhauju is dead. Chhori is lookin for someone who can….Sitaulo is lose dai. Who will ensure the safety of voters ? YCL, Madhesi Forum or Goit ? I think it will not happen but it seems that King is coming back like a wounded Tiger. All our Netas are Bakamphuse Party, they can not deliver.

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  4. Even if no CA, fuedalism will be null and void after Mangsir 6. Of course, chaos will be after then but this Wagle’s blogsite wiil get rid of royalists.

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  5. What Next on the Maoist Roadmap?
    By Kundan Singh Khatri

    A snapshot of any newspaper on a given day portrays a bewildering picture of Maoist activity. Take 24 June 2007 and the Kathmandu Post for instance. The bold headline proclaiming that Lena Sundh “tells YCL to cease and desist” in the latest UNOHCHR report, is reinforced by the UML Chief’s assertion that “YCL atrocities are worse than reported”. Obviously quite unfettered by any of that, the YCL meanwhile “threatens to kill Madi injured,” while other Maoists “obstructs highway to free cadre” in Sarlahi. That the cadre in question was arrested by the police force of the interim government in which the Maoists themselves are partaking; for illegal possession of arms, seems lost on the Maoist senior leadership, who were busy registering a “note of dissent” over the promotion of army brass. The list goes on, but there is no need to belabor the point.

    While all this certainly highlights the rising fluidity and anarchy in the country, the deeper and darker truth which is really unnerving the experts, is that there is actually method to this madness. As the latest International Crisis Group (ICG) report correctly deduces, there is one thing in the equation that has not changed at all – Maoist intent. The executive summary of the think tank’s 18 May 2007 report starts with, “Nepal’s Maoists have changed their strategy and tactics but not yet their goals”. Yet another long time Nepal watcher and frequent visitor, Dr. Tom Marks, further elaborates this idea in his 16 June article – “[In the past] all efforts by knowledgeable members of the state, especially within the security forces, to mobilize citizen capacity, whether in local defense forces or even watcher groups, were thwarted by incomprehension, outright opposition, or alliances made with the donor community. In contrast, the entire thrust of the Maoist effort was to form a counter-state that could challenge the state. In this, they have never faltered. Their present participation in the Government is for no purpose other than to facilitate their eventual takeover”.

    The assumption, increasingly substantiated by events on the ground, that the Maoist machine is not really ready to roll over and satisfy itself as one party in a liberal, multi-party, parliamentary, democratic setup, paints a rather bleak picture and sadly demonstrates the desecration of the achievements of Jana Andolan II. Painful as it may be, there is no shaking off this notion. Such is the overwhelming evidence glaring at the face of all who dare to take a hard look at reality instead of indulging in denial or succumbing to the ‘peace at all costs’ mindset so prevalent in the chattering class.

    Since the Maoist strategy appears to merely be a switch of tracks towards the same destination rather than the much hoped for shift in direction itself, one question emerges with utmost urgency. What next on the Maoist roadmap?

    Before attempting to arrive at the answer to that critical question, it is necessary to try and comprehend the context within which it is posed. Despite the proven ability to create and manipulate chaos, all is not hunky dory for the Maoists. For a start, the very election for the constitutional assembly that formed the cornerstone of their demands for so long is no longer looking quite so attractive.

    True, the impotence of the mainstream political parties coupled with the limitations imposed upon the state security apparatus still facilitates their de facto grip over most of Nepal. But even in their self declared base areas, the heavy handed excesses of the Maoists and their sister organizations have unleashed a series of backlashes. Likewise, even the thinly veiled hints of the Information Minister for whom party interest outweighs government policy any day, has failed to totally muzzle the free press.

    Moriarty, apparently unfazed by the rocks of Jhapa, continues to raise an accusing finger. What’s worse, even Martin, whom some would call their ‘traditional ally’, frustrated with the obstacles erected by the Maoists at every step UNMIN takes these days, is starting to frown at their antics.

    What all this means, in essence, is that the Maoists appear primed to seek to switch tracks once again. The relentless and increasingly whimsical rhetoric leveled at the Nepalese Army is a clear indication of their recognition that, when all is said and done, it is only the Army, still relatively intact, and in the control of the Prime Minister and increasingly morally aligned to the democratic forces, that still bars a Cambodia or Bolshevik Russia type takeover. If only the Maoists can compromise the army, nothing and no one, no matter how solid their Janatantrik credentials can stop them from walking in and grabbing the reins of power.

    As their two overt routes to power – a landslide victory in the CA elections or a street based mass uprising – appear increasingly elusive, a third and less obvious ‘indirect approach’, one of securing a manipulative integration of the PLA into the National Army and its eventual subversion and mobilization for party interest, may appear more attractive. Indeed, it may even be the only viable option remaining to the Maoists in the pursuit of their stated and unchanged strategic objective.

    The modalities of integration of ex-rebels into the army are therefore on the top of the Maoist agenda today. In their cunning albeit twisted minds, it is the one factor that can still deliver them total power. Having taken advantage of the recent distribution of citizenship papers, allegedly legitimizing the bulk of their cadres in the cantonments, the party is seeking to maximize the numbers verified for integration. They oppose integration into civil society, the police or even the APF. Furthermore, the attempt will be to induct intact units and politically astute leaders into command positions in the army.

    At the end of the day, the handover of 3400 odd ‘crummy’ weapons in the containers are a small price to pay if the party can inherit some 15000 to 30000 military grade weapons through mass induction of cadres into the NA. If a rebel force with 3400 old weapons caused so much consternation in the last decade, it does not take the brains of a rocket scientist to imagine what the Maoists may achieve with five or ten times as many modern arms – especially if there would no longer remain an intact army to fight them onto the negotiating table again.

    At a time when some people still claim that the loyalty of the relatively disciplined army that takes every opportunity to demonstrate its acceptance of civilian supremacy is still in doubt due to its traditional linkage to the monarchy, can the political parties afford to accept its transformation into a force that would be confirmed loyal to a single party. At the least such damaging integration would undoubtedly result in an army that is mutinous and fragmented. While the political parties may smugly view the process as mutually beneficial compromise, as Tom Marks noted wryly, the Maoists see it as being nothing less than “accepting the surrender of the old-order … to form a people’s republic. In these plans, the ‘old military’ is to be cut back dramatically, and in its place are to be substituted armed popular groups as seen, for example, in Iran …”

    It is imperative, as much for the sake of sustained democracy as anything else, that the Nepalese Army is kept as intact as possible. Integration, if it is unavoidable, must be carried out only after the settlement of the remaining political questions, especially the formation of an elected government. The primary effort must be first and foremost to integrate them back into society. Only then can the remaining merge into all the security forces, with little or no influx into the army.

    In India, Subash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA), formally regarded as heroes of the independence struggle against the British, was nevertheless not accepted into the new Indian Army, lest it change its professional character. In Nepal, if the integration has to be accepted as part of yet another ‘package deal’ as the Maoists are likely to demand, it should be ‘packaged’ at the very end of the peace process and carried out in a manner and quantum that does not fundamentally damage and alter the core nature of the only remaining viable obstacle to a forceful and singular takeover of power by the Maoists

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  6. Even before CA elections what I think needs to happen is that someone should give this Raj chap a hard slap across his face – the kind that leaves a mark.

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  7. well if someone does slap him, do slap him from my side too.
    this guy has been polluting the blog with his non-sense as long as i know.

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  8. Heard that our dear old King is looking to have a ‘gala’ 60th birthday. ( Okay, maybe not ‘dear’, but certainly ‘old’, given that no other recent King was older than 56. )

    I suspect its a birthday and a farewell party rolled into one. If that’s the case, I’m not complaining.

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  9. It’s business as usual for the King and the Royal Palavce! The 60th Birthday Party can only bring more focus and suspicion on the King and his gang. When people fail to read the writings on the wlll, disaster will follow.

    The CA elections; that is another thing. Many people don’t believe that it will be held. But the godd thing is that the soldiers on the two sides are no longer killing each other. It is the civilian popultion that have to bear the brunt. Chilling thought.

    Deva

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  10. And Deva- you are fine with that, I guess. not me though. For me- I have lost hope on anything good coming off this SPAM rule. One side you have Girja who is stuck on idea of being historical figure even when nations burn (Nero syndrome) and other side a Pushpa Kamal Dahal who is keen to rule by any means possible and method does not matter and we have something in between who have nor the bones or power to stand alone. So fractious parties will dig deeper and other nation will guide & mould this nation according to their whim. And all we do is make noise that is quiet at best.

    Now- we are enslaved Nepali and we do not know it yet- Sorry but thats the way the things are. Prove me otherwise.

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  11. DOA – have you considered the common denominator of all these actors? Our good friends from the south appear to have all the actors in our country within their grip! I know, you will say that it was a fact we knew all along, but the fact of the matter is that we appear to be powerless to do anything about this situation. There is a saying, “If you cannot cut your enemy’s hand, then kiss it”. We are probably in a similar predicament.

    Deva

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  12. Deva- what you mean is “if you can’t win, join ’em.” I have heard loads and loads of talk on how we would be better off joining India and even Indian saying that certain group of Nepali DOES want Nepal to be integrated with India. Now- this raises a question – if we are such a defeatist and do not have love for this land then so be it but I as a person living in Nepal does not ever want to be enslaved by India. I stated this before- we demonize ourselves by destroying what we have under a pretext of Loktrantra, be it monarchy or calling secular unilaterally. When SPAM acts for foreigners interest under a fear that they will lose their support, what can you expect from them other than a ideas that is very different from our aspirations.

    I believe in giving space to everyone but there has to be a level playing field but the source of all ill is our leaders wonton depended on India from political to insurgency. As matter of fact- they have done the hatchet job for foreign powers just so they can claim their credibility which by the way is non existence among general public. Rather than seeking mandate from the people they prefer decree after consultation from powers that be in foreign shores. If nation’s interest is paramount how come even basic tenet of society’s requirement such as security not been take care off, who come money for fuel is being diverted to Maoist undocumented cadres, and how SPAM justifies all in the sake of peace whereas Tarai is burning and people of Pahad are being targeted for violence. The internal strife is on slow burn but SPAM rule does not extend beyond high mountains of Kathmandu Valley except on soundbites. So if these so-called-leaders had genuine concern for Nepali they would act different and talk different but as source of power lies not in “sovereign people” they are forced to talk the talk and walk the walk only on permission from foreign powers. Worst of all- SPAM is a forced union among a disjointed parties that have nothing in common except upmanship and narrow tunnel vision that never rises above their party interest.

    And last, we as a nation have not worked as one therefore few people who call themselves to be a leader have left the gate open for others to guide us in their interest rather than in nation’s interest. People who shout against Monarchy may be thinking they are correcting the past anomalies but in fact are doing just the opposite. You tell me who or which party has come up with a policy for Nepal except talk about Loktrantra which by its own definition is a fodder for politicians to twist and turn and confuse- nothing more. Nation does not develop on rhetoric but hard action- I see none from anyone. So all I can say is help me Lord Pasupatinath.

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  13. DOA – I admire your nationalistic emotions but people like you are now in the minority. The silent majority does not exist in Nepal. They are all swayed by the false, and cheap propoganda from the SPAM and even our so-called civil society.

    Dr. S.D.Muni, the architect of the present situation in Nepal, is presently in Nepal meeting our Prime Minister. Have not heard of Sitaram Yechuri lately though.

    Deva

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  14. I guess the trend is being in minority means license to start a fire in any form- from insurgency to Nepal bandh- so be it. S.D. muni may be flavor for SPAM but in the eyes of people who are diehard nationalist, he is an eye sore.

    Lets stop Nepal from being a prostitute nation where highest bidder or cunning rascals and mighty power rape on their free will. Now take that you all. Does it hurt, sure it does.

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