Nepal's Maoists storm parliament, slide into opposition role
Political consensus on key issues surrounding the country's peace process will now be even more difficult as the Maoists gear up to become the main opposition party, analysts say.
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But the Maoist chairman was careful to tell his followers – who are angry with Mr. Yadav and are demanding that he resign – that his party would not desert the peace process, nor would it return to war.Skip to next paragraph
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The speech was also an indication that the road ahead for Nepal's peace process is rocky, especially because there is little trust left between the Maoists and the major democratic forces of Nepal.
There are 19,702 Maoist fighters living in cantonments across Nepal monitored by the United Nations. Unless they are resettled into society, lasting peace is hard for most Nepalis to imagine.
Why the Maoists 'civilian rule' argument was rejected
"The theory that the Maoists served a termination letter to the army chief to establish civilian supremacy was rejected all around, and with vehemence," says Jayshi. "Even India, which seems to wield considerable influence in Nepal's politics, rejected it."
India's role was instrumental in bringing the Maoists on board with the peace process. The Maoists signed a 12-point agreement with a coalition of Nepal's mainstream political parties in November 2005 in New Delhi under the aegis of the South Bloc, which wanted to experiment in Nepal in order to draw lessons to deal with a growing Maoist threat at home.
Narayan Wagle, editor of Nagarik, a leading Nepali daily, says the Maoists' militant background didn't help them in their argument for civilian supremacy. "This is a party that still has a private army. It fought a bloody war. It is still engaged in sporadic violence. There is no question of believing them when they say they want civilian supremacy over the army," Mr. Wagle says.
Role of Indian elections
The result of elections in India played an instrumental role in helping the prime ministerial candidate in Nepal get majority support, Wagle says.
"The decision by Nepal's fourth largest party, the Madheshi People's Rights Forum, to support the new coalition came after it became clear that [the Communist Party of India-Marxist] would no longer be a part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance," he says. "The Forum realized that without Indian communists in the coalition, the new order in India would not be sympathetic to Nepal's Maoists."
Until the results of the India's vote were announced on Saturday, the Forum, an ethnic party that holds the key to the formation of any coalition government in Nepal with its crucial 53 seats, was still pushing for a coalition with Maoists. The Forum's change of heart coincided with the fact that the CPI-M, the Indian benefactors of Nepal's Maoists, suffered an unexpected defeat in the elections in India.