Communist Manifestos: Maoist Vs UML (United Marxist Leninist)

Two major communist parties of Nepal make their Constituent Assembly elections manifestos public this week. Read on before deciding to vote for anyone of them:

[Next blog: Wagle has been following the campaign trail of Maoist Chairman Prachanda for the past few days. How do people who were seen in Prachanda campaign rallies think about the man who led the violent revolution? Are they going to vote for him in Kathmandu-10? Plus, interview with the leader and his campaign verbatim.]

UML, In CA Manifesto, Proposes Executive PM, Ceremonial President

A major ally of the ruling Seven-Party alliance (SPA), CPN-UML on Sunday made public its election manifesto for the Constituent Assembly (CA) proposing to bestow the executive powers of the state upon the Prime Minister and to give just a ceremonial role to the President who will also be the head of the state. UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal publicised the manifesto with the slogan ‘Let’s establish a federal democratic republic, let’s build a strong and prosperous Nepal”, at a press conference organised at the UML headquarters at Balkhu in the capital today.

The manifesto has proposed to elect the Prime Minster under first-past-the-post (FPTP) election system and the President through a clear majority of the elected parliament. The UML manifesto has also proposed to bestow all responsibilities of the country’s administration upon the Prime Minister. The party, however, has proposed to entitle only limited rights and responsibilities to the President in his capacity as the ceremonial Head of State. Likewise, the manifesto has also provisions for a bicameral legislative body at the centre, unicameral assembly at each state under the new federal governance system. UML General Secretary Nepal said, “The elected representatives shall run the local bodies.” “We have forwarded the principle of developing the federal structure on the basis of ethnic, linguistic, cultural and geographical distinctiveness,” he added.

The UML manifesto, however, does not mention the number of states to be formed under the federal system. The party has said that the number of states will be determined later by the state restructuring a commission comprising experts. According to the manifesto, the first CA meeting will form a commission with the consensus of the political parties to draft a new constitution and to restructure the country in a progressive manner. Regarding UML’s economic plan, the UML General Secretary said, “We have proposed for the development of the public, private and cooperative sectors as the pillars of our economy.”

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