We’re never short of drama in Nepal. As the votes are being counted, it seems that the Maoist party is in for a huge loss. And guess what happens? As Ushaft has been repeating in these blogs many times, they’d not allow any election to happen if they don’t win. For them, it is not about democracy, or about elections. It is just about “utilizing” this process, this generosity and magnanimity offered by the people of Nepal, and destroying the very foundations of democracy and institutions of Nepal in favor for a authoritarian rule of their own. We’ve already talked about how the self-obsessed Baburam Bhattarai and Prachanda tried all possible means to intimidate opposition, manipulate voters and make the results in their favor, by hook or crook. After what has been a largely fair and peaceful elections, now they are threatening that they’ll boycott the whole process until the counting is not done according to their terms and conditions.
Let’s not forget that the Maoist party is a big part of all this. But the echo-chamber has no lesser share of the blame. We should unequivocally condemn this echo chamber in what is transpiring right now in Nepal.
A citizens’ statement, released today, is included below.
Citizens’ Statement – Rejection of UCPN-Maoist’s walk-out from vote-counting
21 November 2013, Thursday
We hereby express our strong objection to the overnight move by the UPCN (Maoist) to walk out of the Constituent Assembly ballot-counting process, a full dozen hours after the exercise began. We welcome the commitment of the Election Commission and the Government of Nepal to continue with the process of ballot-counting and declaring winning candidates. We reject any and all demands being employed by the UCPN (Maoist) to obstruct the vote tallying process, including the call for ‘negotiations’, and ask for uninterrupted continuation of the electoral procedures.
We are all aware of the intense involvement of the committed Nepali electorate in the Constituent Assembly elections of 19 November. The UCPN (Maoist) leaders, including Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-Chairman Baburam Bhattarai, have themselves publicly praised management of the elections and security arrangements.
We also note that the UCPN (Maoist) had taken the political lead in all developments related to these polls, from the establishment of the interim election government to defining the electoral regulations and process, up to the conclusion of the balloting-casting. We find the midnight statement released by the UCPN (Maoist) spokesperson as well as the views expressed by Chairman Dahal in the morning of 21 November to be wholly contradictory to the involvements of the party listed above.
At this critical hour, as a party which is supposed to have abandoned the use of violence in favour of peaceful politics, we demand that the UCPN (Maoist) accept the democratic process. We call on it to accept the people’s verdict, take care that its actions not be an embarrassment before the world, return to participate in the ballot-counting process, and prove its commitment to democracy through its deeds.
Amuda Shrestha, Chandrakishore, Charan Prasai, Kanak Mani Dixit and Subodh Raj Pyakurel
Contact: 9851029859, 9855025917, 9851042681, 9851053209, 9851026841
This is the seventh post in my election-update series. The first one is here, the second one is here, the third one is here, the fourth one is here, the fifth one is here, and the sixth one is here. The first post contains the definition of the Nepalese “echo chamber,” a theme which will be referred to throughout this series. The third one describes how a lot of money and violence is being used right now to manipulate results. The fourth one describes the general mood in Nepal right now, and the fifth one explains why a result contrary to the general mood is more likely. The sixth one summarizes the events from the polling day.