News Release

Maoist Victory in Nepal


AFP is reporting: “Nepal’s Maoists, on track for victory in landmark elections, on Wednesday called on the country’s embattled king to step down ‘gracefully’ or else face a humiliating eviction from his palace.

“The call came as the former rebels maintained a strong lead in the count from last Thursday’s vote on the impoverished country’s political future.

“The Maoists so far look set to dominate a 601-seat assembly that will rewrite Nepal’s constitution, and have said their first act will be to sack King Gyanendra and abolish his 240-year-old monarchy.”

Mary Des Chene is an anthropologist and editor of the journal Studies in Nepali History and Society. She is fluent in Nepali and has been conducting research in Nepal for more than two decades. An interview with her, conducted Wednesday, is online.

Professor at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, Parajuli was born and raised in Nepal. He is founding executive director of the Portland International Initiative for Leadership in Ecology, Culture and Learning.

Parajuli said today: “I was last in Nepal at the end of 2006 and met with those who will be in the new leadership. The U.S. government should immediately withdraw its designation of the Maoists as ‘terrorists’ and graciously welcome the people’s verdict. … It is natural that the elites of Nepal are completely shocked and aghast at the new developments; the political class and the media expected the Maoists to come in third. …

“This victory is partly a vote for the Maoists — many think they will do something good — but it’s largely a vote away from the other parties, for they failed to meet raising expectations of the masses or make any dent on the very entrenched unequal and unjust structure of the Nepalese state. …

“For an initial opening of this conversation, it’s useful to read the interview with the incoming leader, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167