Prachanda is Nepal’s new PM!


Pushpa Kamal Daha (better known as ‘Prachanda”, meaning “the fierce one”) has just become Nepal’s new Prime Minister. He received 464 out of 577 votes in Nepal’s Constituent Assembly.

In the recent elections, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) received more votes than any other party (although not an absolute majority). So they are “legally” in power. However this legal victory can be traced to the successful Maoist led people’s war in Nepal which forced the holding of elections as part of the peace process. As soon as real elections were on the agenda, the Maoists called off the war and oriented themselves toward winning via the ballot box.

The policy of the Nepalese Maoists is clear: what Nepal needs is capitalistic development and democracy!

Their victory is the result of the bankruptcy of the traditional ruling elite in Nepal which has never shown any enthusiasm or ability to lead the nation out of feudalism, preferring to maintain frozen social relations than risk losing out to anything more dynamic. It’s been a similar pattern to what we’ve seen in many parts of Africa.

What happens in Nepal will be highly significant and could become a model for other places in which the entrenched ruling circles are so backward and corrupt that the transition to democracy and capitalism is being prevented.

David Mc. wrote a post about this a few weeks ago: New meme from Nepalese Maoists.

And here’s what Baburam Bhattarai, the Maoists’ second-in-command, has reportedly just said in response to Prachanda becoming Prime Minister

Nepal is seeing a golden morning today. We have already finished destroying the roots of feudalism in Nepal, the 240-year old monarchy institution. Nepal is entering a new epoch and we have already started our journey but sadly we were unable to find a driver for the journey for last four months.

The CA elections was for new leadership and new change. That was what the people wanted. It took a while, but finally it happened.

We have to go join hands ahead to take Nepal to a whole new level, for the development and rapid economic revolutions. Under the leadership of Prachanda, the main agenda of the new administration would be nationalism, republic, economic and social transformation, and for which we will publish a common minimum program very soon.

We also want to reassure our commitment that we are going to implement past commitments to return the personal and piblic property and land seized during the conflict and to destroy the paramilitary structure of the Young Communist League. From now on, none of our Maoist party member who are in the CA and hold government position will hold any post of People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Please do not suspect us.

These days, newspapers have started addressing comrade Prachanda as Pushpa Kamal Dahal. We don’t see good intention in using his name as Pushpa Kamal Dahal instead of Prachanda that people would love to hear addressed as, that he is popularly known as. Prcahanda does not give any signal of ethnicity, area or gender and Pushpa Kamal Dahal does not and he also prefers not to be addressed as.

We feel that Nepal has found its hero. For any epoch-changing society, we need a hero. After Europe’s capitalist revolution, Napoleon was born. To institutionalize the socialism in Russia, Lenin was born. In Nepal, to institutionalize the federal democratic republic after the 10 years of People’s War and mass popular movement, Prachanda is born. He is the new leader of new era. We will see his leadership from the support of all the parties.

Interesting stuff , which should challenge all sorts pseudo-left dogma.

Further link: In Nepal: “We are trying our best to understand democracy”

Btw: Although the Nepalese Maoists are still on the US terrorist list, US officials have met with Prachanda and have been among the first to greet his election as PM. I don’t think they have any choice but to support (or at least not oppose) any force which has the potential to dismantle obstacles in the way of real development in the undeveloped world. People on the Left need to update their minds and recognise that the last superpower faces some very new difficulties in the 21st century – dificulties which have forced it to change its policies. This is very good, in fact a victory, for the people of the world.

23 Responses to “Prachanda is Nepal’s new PM!”

  1. 1 Bill Kerr

    This video gave me a feel for some of the struggles and contradictory forces emerging through the nepal revolution and for women in particular (via AlJazeera)

  2. 2 Matthew C Harrison

    Thanks for the update on this, which is remarkably under-reported in the US.

  3. 3 Arthur

    Sorry I haven’t been able to do much on recently.Just want to pass on this link to recently published June 2006 document that highlights Nepal Maoists raising multi-party democracy as critical issue for fate of proletarian revolution worldwide.

    Haven’t seen any serious discussion of that proposition among alleged Maoists. Posted a comment at Kasama that wasn’t automatically blocked. Interesting to see whether it will be, though I don’t have time to follow up there anyway at the moment:

    (27/03/09 5pm: have fixed broken link in this comment. keza)

  4. 4 Bill Kerr

    Removing the fullstop in front of the http, the correct link to arthur’s post to Kasama is:

    There are replies there now

    (Have removed the errant fullstop in Arthur’s comment above. Link now works. keza)

  5. 5 Arthur

    Just been reading the early reports on Prachanda resigning after President reinstated Army Chief of Staff sacked by Cabinet for subordination and UMLs withdrew from Cabinet.

    No way to be sure of anything from here or at this stage, but for what it’s worth here’s my instant punditry:

    1. The other parties cannot govern without the Maoists and know it. (Though they also have unbelievably myopic and stupid leaders who are no match for Maoists tactically and seem unable to avoid doing things that they must know wont work).

    2. Nor is the army in any position to take over. They know it and are not stupid.

    3. Nor is any external force in a position to intervene or having any interest in doing so.

    4. So it’s mainly “drama”. “Situation desperate but not serious”.

    5. Worst case a non-Maoist government might be able to hold out till August when the Chief of Staff is supposed to retire anyway and then have a “no losers” agreement on Maoists returning to lead government.

    6. Even in that case the Maoists emerge with enhanced credentials generally (especially re commitment to multi-party democracy and rule of law) as well as breathing space to deal with internal problems and others get blamed for failure to meet various deadlines.

    7. More likely any alternative government would collapse quickly if formed at all. Nepal Congress already completely discredited. UMLs forming coalition with them against Maoists would accelerate already looming UML split and ongoing loss of both mass base and cadres to Maoists. Madheshi forum would also weaken or destroy their mass base by openly lining up with the basically Bahun parties and the Army that are all hostile to federalism. All 3 plus a dozen or so minor squabblers parties would be needed to out vote Maoists and close allies in Constituent Assembly. They would be certain to fight each over both issues and sheer greed. Then Maoists return to lead government as winners and things move faster.

  6. 6 Arthur

    1. This is mainly to pass on link to new UCPN(Maoist) international web site likely to prove more illuminating than Red Star.

    2. So far above punditry seems to have held up. MJF splitting as well as UML. English language nepali newspapers hostile to Maoists still seem fairly complacent.

    3. Apologies that is still down and will be for a while.

  7. 7 Arthur

    International link above hasn’t been updated.

    However Red Star is back online at new URL.

  8. 8 Arthur

    Above punditry hasn’t held up. Things still rumbling along with little in english from the Maoists. But there’s a US contact address in the .pdf press kit for the oscar nominated film “Women Rebels”. It might be useful to help organize screenings. I rather like the Hsila Yami quote “Nepal is like a thread – but that thread is like a fuse – and when lit the whole world will detonate”.

    Can anyone get onto this?

  9. 9 informally yours

    Hi Arthur, yes the link worked.

  10. 10 Arthur

    I’ve watched the trailer as well as read the .pdf press kit. It looks to me like good film to organize public meetings around eg at least in melbourne, adelaide, canberra and brisbane. Hoping “somebody” (not me) will contact them to organize it (hint hint). Also worth contacting the Ambassador in Canberra (double hint).

    BTW most of the leading actors and producers in Kollywood (Kathmandu’s Bollywood) recently joined the Maoist party en masse.

  11. 11 informally yours

    Doh! Double Doh! I’m still on dial-up thanks to TIO/Telstra and can’t watch audio as it is too slow – saw the photo gallery etc., noticed that the recruits needed shoes as well as guns; and that the Board of Director’s involved in the production is headed by an Al Gore Television personality.

  12. 12 Arthur

    Its still unclear to what extent I’m banned from the subsite of Kasama. Last time I checked any posts to Kasama were automatically suppressed despite not mentioning Iraq or Afghanistan. Some recent posts to the subsite on Nepal have been allowed through after delays for moderation (and accompanied with announcements that I have been repeatedly banned and am prohibited from expressing my awful pro-imperialist neocon views – while taking a parallel position of defending the Nepali Maoists against ridiculous attacks on them and apparantly allowing me to join in doing so).

    Just posted the comment below here. Will be interesting to see whether it gets through moderation in a day or two.

    The “[Omitted section On 21st Democracy] omits the most central challenge by the CPI(Maoist) to the theoretical advances made by Nepalese Maoists that are of worldwide significance and of greatest concern to the Indian party and are at the heart of the strategic and tactical issues facing the revolution in Nepal in the light of their unique situation of being elected as the largest party while retaining their army. It and other omitted sections can be found in the original, complete post here. The real significance of the “left” stance in rest of the open letter cannot be understood without that critical section.

    This omitted paragraph is especially revealing:

    “Then there will be several independent institutions like the judiciary, the election commission, the human rights commission sponsored by the imperialists, the media, various artistic, cultural and even religious bodies, non-government organisations, and so on. If one declares one’s commitment to multiparty democracy, one cannot escape from upholding these so-called independent institutions. Many of these can work for counter-revolution in diverse subtle ways. One cannot forget the subtle manner in which the western agencies infiltrated and subverted the societies in East European countries and even in the former Soviet Union.”

    It is repeated verbatim from an earlier polemic published in 2006, so it isn’t some some accidental aberration.

    How could any Maoist read, let alone write that twice without noticing the implication.

    Absolutely central to the dividing line between Maoists and all other political trends claiming to be “left” is our understanding that the counter-revolution was successful in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union long before the 1990s. We called those regimes that fell “social fascist” and celebrated their downfall. This is also critical to refuting the main theme of anti-communist propaganda, which insists that communism is to blame for the East European police states thoroughly hated by their own people and by all democrats, let alone genuine communists worldwide.

    Evidently the CPI(Maoist) does not share that viewpoint but has essentially the same views on that issue as the Brezhnevite remnants that still blame the collapse of their police states on imperialist infiltration rather than on popular indignation. This analysis has no hope of inspiring genuine revolutionaries anywhere in the world, including India.

  13. 13 Arthur

    Well it seems I’m still not welcome at the RevSouthAsia subsite of Kasama. The original post to which above was a comment was withdrawn, thus also not publishing the comment.

    More explicitly the following comment is still “awaiting moderation” in this topic. The comment it was a reply to, which denounced the line being taken by the UCPN(Maoist) is also missing.

    The full document is worth studying for understanding what’s happening in Nepal. There is also a link to the Maoist International Bulletin at which seems to have resumed updating again.

    The preliminaries about international situation seem quite schematic and formal with little actual connection to the line in Nepal. Still not much good, but clearly not as abysmal as the level of analysis of world affairs that is common among alleged Maoists internationally. They seem to be basically treading water on international analysis, not drawing conclusions that would upset other “Maoists” and consequently not actually saying much, while paying lipservice to some conventional bullshit.

    Ignoring the international bullshit following comment highlights the main point of their actual line:

    Arthur said
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    February 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Reactionaries, in and outside of the country, have clearly understood that the ideological, political and sentimental relation of the peace-process and constituent assembly is inseparably related with Maoist people’s war and the revolutionary movement. In the special context of Nepal, for the reason that peace-process and constituent assembly are the fruit of people’s war and revolutionary movement, victory of reactionaries in this arena is impossible. From the result of constituent assembly election, from the programmes related to nationhood, democracy and people’s livelihood that the Maoist-led government had put forward and mainly from the political superiority of the Maoist revolutionaries and also from the increasing popularity proved by the past mid-term poll, the reactionaries have clearly understood this reality.

    That reality grasped by Nepalese reactionaries seems to have been missed by “left” critics of the Maoist strategy. The peace process and constituent assembly are correctly seen by everyone in Nepal as reflecting the Maoist agenda and as results of the People’s War and revolutionary struggle. Consequently Maoist support and organization has continued to increase (especially in Terai and the cities) while the status quo politicians have become more and more isolated both when in coalition with the Maoists and when governing alone. Completing the peace agreement and finalizing any plausible constitution is expected to result in an overwhelming Maoist victory at any subsequent election.

    So naturally the most die hard reactionaries are desperately looking for ways to avoid completing the peace agreement and finalizing any constitution as they do not like the idea of being in an even worse position after another election. Given the strength of the YCL and PLA there is no way they can stage Indian “Bihari style” elections with booths captured or voters obediently obeying the orders of landlord gangs or following the advice of NGO and government “patrons”.

    At the same time there is little enthusiasm, even among supporters of status quo for military rule and a resumption of civil war since it didn’t do much good for them last time.


    Enemy is trying to isolate us, our slogan must isolate the enemy, enemy is trying to push the country into war, our slogan must be able to rally the whole country around the banner of peace, enemy is trying to make the constituent assembly powerless, our slogan must make it lively, enemy is trying to make the peace agreement and interim constitution a worthless piece of paper, we must respect them as a common mandate of the people’s war, 12-point understanding and the mass movement, enemy is abhorrently conspiring to malign people’s verdict expressed in the constituent assembly and impose puppet government upon the Nepalese people, our slogan must fully respect people’s opinion expressed in the constituent assembly, the enemy is finally and mainly trying to wreck national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nepal and our slogan, uniting the whole country, must be able to shatter the enemy’s ambition. For that, tactically peace, constitution, national independence, ‘civilian supremacy’ and ‘Maoist-led national government’ must be included in our slogans. Based on these slogans, the planned struggles carried from legislature and the street, by defeating the reactionary conspiracies, broad masses can be led to the completion of strategic goal of democratic revolution

    The essence of denouncing this line is on each concrete issue, as listed above, siding directly and openly with the enemy position while claiming to be more revolutionary.

    The revolutionary line aims to ensure the strongest possible base of highly organized mass support among the people, whether the enemy chooses peace or war. The “left in form, right in essence” critique is focused on sounding revolutionary rather than actually leading the masses in revolution.

  14. 14 Arthur

    Here’s some links on India:

    Major article by Arundhati Roy which is likely to encourage much wider interest:

    Another report on visit to rebels:

    Collection of critical studies. Sheds some light on different trends in India and influence of similar ideas to Nepali Maoists:

    Meanwhile things seem to be approaching a major turning point in Nepal with less than 2 months till the May 28 deadline for drafting a new constitution.

    My expectations of the anti-Maoist coalition collapsing quickly have been proved wrong and I don’t feel at all confident about understanding what’s happening from reading the english language news reports.

    As far as I can make out the coalition has already lost its majority and mass support for the parties in it has collapsed, except among the middle class in Kathmandu. Still unclear whether this will result in an agreement to carry out the peace agreement and adopt a constitution, a major political crisis or an election (or combination). My guess would be a political crisis (with general strike, open establishment of dual power organs etc) resulting in an election.

  15. 15 Arthur

    Whoops, the second link was meant to be to a report of another visit to rebels:

  16. 16 Bill Kerr

    Here is a version of Arundhati Roy’s pdf without the annoying Kasama self promotion. Also the Kasama version has truncated some of the captions to the photos.

  17. 17 Bill Kerr

    Can’t find anywhere on the site to put this but Mobo Gao’s book on China’s cultural revolution looks interesting. You can download a pdf of the Introduction from the Kasama site and Mike Hyde has a review on his blog. The author is now a professor at Adelaide Uni.

  18. 18 keza

    Why do you think that blog is Mike Hyde’s??

    I’d be very surprised if it was!

  19. 19 Bill Kerr

    my mistake, sorry

  20. 20 Bill Kerr

    Good video and commentary of the nepal revolution at the canadian-nepal solidarity group site. I watched the video on the May 5th entry and read the day 5, day 4 entries which were informative without the heavy politically correct overlay that sometimes happens at southasiarev. I was following Jed Brandt’s standalonesite but he hasn’t posted for a few days.

  21. 21 Bill Kerr

    “The situation in Nepal has become even more scary …”
    Nepal continues to polarize

  22. 22 Arthur

    Still finding it hard to follow. Wouldn’t describe it as “scary” and even polarization unclear (ie not simply separating into two camps confronting each other).

    Surprising lack of tension given May 28 deadline. Not much rumbling from or about the Nepal Army.

    I suspect current PM will drag it out until his anniversary of taking office (May 25) but his situation is already clearly untenable.

    Maoists don’t want to be back in as a simple majority coalition government. Need two thirds to be able to finalize constitution and govern effectively. I would assume they would be keen for Constituent Assembly to expire forcing new elections to be held at which they will do even better. But this isn’t necessarily confirmed from what everyone says publicly to each other so I can’t feel confident about it.

    Maoists did not gain ground and perhaps lost some in Kathmandu middle class during general strike and have not yet made clear their strategy after postponing the strike (which upset lots of their supporters). So far as I can make out, everything else is drifting their way with opponents floundering helplessly. Complete shutdown of Nepal for a week demonstrated overwhelming Maoist strength and discipline. Prompt cancellation to avoid violent incidents demonstrated caution and responsibility.

    Interesting development is that the possible setback among KTM middle class was inflicted on them partly by Federation of Nepal Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) which represents actual capitalists rather than the semi-feudal and bureaucrat bourgeoisie of the major anti-Maoist parties.

    Maoists may have partly stepped back in acknowledgement that this is a force they actually do need to maintain good relations with in developing modern industry in Nepal. Right is trying to use it as a rallying point and Maoists seem to be neutralizing that and adapting to it as a significant intermediate force.

  23. 23 Steve Owens
  1. 1 New Indian Document Criticizes Revisionists in Nepal « Monkey smashes heaven

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