Maoists set to sweep Nepal election
The former rebel group, which waged a violent campaign against the monarchy, would face ongoing social unrest in the Himalayan country.
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Nonetheless, the Maoists' popular support and election romp so soon after the peace deal has stunned observers, reports the Economic Times of India:Skip to next paragraph
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But for the moment, it's time for platitudes and euphoria. The magnitude of their own performance seems to have stunned even the Maoist leadership, [as well as] the local media and political observers.
Behind the numbers emerging from the Election Commission in Kathmandu is what observers and ordinary voters say is a resounding demand for sweeping change in the Himalayan nation and one of the world's poorest places….
"The Maoists had an election slogan: 'We have seen everyone else time and time again, lets see the Maoists' this time'," recounted 56-year-old Ganey Darai, a voter who gave the ex-rebels his backing.
"People have decided to take them up on their word, and see what they can do," said Darai, who earns less than a dollar a day hiring out weighing scales outside a hospital in Kathmandu.
While the elections were deemed "free and fair" by international observers – including former President Jimmy Carter – international governments face a dilemma in responding to the election says The Times of London:
The prospect also raises some international concerns, because the Maoists are still listed as terrorists by the United States and have threatened to tear up treaties with India and to abolish Britain's Gurkha Brigade.
The Himalayan News Service says only that the Maoists "would like to maintain friendly and cordial relations with friendly countries."
Moreover, the CFR says the election could usher in further instability:
Social unrest and the growing discontent of marginalized ethnic groups loom ahead. The Foreign and Commonwealth office of the United Kingdom takes note of protests and rioting in southern Nepal in late 2006 and early 2007: "A number of people were killed during clashes with the Police. Protestors defied curfews, and vandalized government offices." Moreover, the fate of thousands of armed Maoist guerrilla fighters remains uncertain.