Nepal - Succesrig boycot af valget og nye militære sejre for maoisterne
Nepal election boycott successful, new Maoist military victories
A World to Win News Service, 13. februar 2006
Den boycot af valget, som var iværksat af såvel den demokratiske 7-parti alliance som af maoisterne var en så stor succes, at maoisterne aflyste resten af den generalstrejke, som eller var planlagt til at vare yderligere tre dage til den 11. februar. Samtlige internationale kommentatorer er enige i deres bedømmelse af valget som et totalt mislykket forsøg fra kongen på at legitimere hans absoluttet magtposition. Kongens regime angiver selv valgdeltagelsen til 20%, mens eksempelvis BBC kun anslår den til omkring 10%. "A World to :Win News Service", der har tætte maoist-kontakter oplyser, at en del vælgere i den vestlige del af Nepal blev arresteret for at skrive "Etabler en Forfatningsgivende Forsamling" på deres stemmeseddel! (såfremt dette er korrekt, kan der ikke have været meget hemmeligt over de pågældende afstemninger!).
The boycott and general strike against the Nepal monarchy's attempt to hold municipal elections 8 February was a big success - so much so that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) called off the remaining four days [korrektion: det var nu kun 3 dage (mogens engelund)] of the eight-day bandh to avoid unnecessary hardship to the population. During this period, the People's Liberation Army inflicted serious losses on the royal army in battles in widely separated regions.
Even the US had to call the king's elections a "hollow attempt" to legitimise his absolute power. A year ago, King Gyanendra dismissed parliament and grabbed the reins of government himself. Following a 12-point agreement between the CPN(M) and the seven opposition political parties whose leaders were detained by the monarchy during this election, the Maoists and parliamentarians jointly called for an electoral boycott. The monarchy claimed that 20 percent of voters had cast their ballots, while BBC put the figure at 10 percent. There were no elections at all in a quarter of the country's 4,000 municipalities. Some voters in western Nepal were arrested for writing "Organise a Constituent Assembly" on their ballots.
The Maoists called off their four-month unilateral ceasefire in January, in the face of a Royal Army offensive against the liberated areas that include most of the countryside. On the anniversary of the king's coup, 1 February, the PLA took over the district headquarters in Palpa, central Nepal. All the Royal Army soldiers ran away or were killed or captured and most of the officers were arrested. The Royal Army arsenal was seized intact. There was not a single civilian casualty.
Then, on 9 February in Nawalparasi district in the Terrai (plains) area of central Nepal, the PLA destroyed a Royal Army convoy on the key Mahendra highway leading to the capital. RNA soldiers captured and released by the Maoists in Palpa took part in this action with the PLA. Some Royal Army soldiers captured in Nawalparasi and again released in the presence of journalists and human rights organisation representatives asked to stay with the Maoists. Others refused to accompany the journalists to the nearest RNA barracks and instead headed for home.
On election day itself, victorious PLA attacks took place in Dhankuta, eastern Nepal, and Kailali district in western Nepal.
That day RNA troops opened fire on an anti-king demonstration in the south-western city of Dang. The next day, in reaction to this, college students in Kathmandu defied the monarchy's threat to meet street protests in the capital with "extreme force". They set up burning barricades of tyres and hurled rocks to fight back against police.
The UK, India and Japan joined with the US in criticising the king and these elections. But US Ambassador James F. Moriarty made it clear that the US continues to oppose any government involving the Maoists. He said in an interview that the seven parliamentary opposition parties may come to regret what he called their "clammy embrace of a violence-endorsing totalitarian movement." Yet observers of many different political persuasions all agree that the present situation may be untenable.
"So tenuous is the king's position," wrote the Washington Post 8 February, "that some Nepalese journalists and analysts have begun to speculate about the odds of a military coup, or perhaps a hurried departure by the royal family in the dead of night, spelling the end of the troubled Hindu dynasty… Late last year, Gyanendra travelled to several African countries, prompting speculation that he might have been scouting a potential refuge - or perhaps secreting money abroad - in case he needs to make a hasty departure."
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the launching of the people's war, CPN(M) Chairman Prachanda gave BBC television a major interview broadcast on February, in which he discussed the near and long-term prospects for the revolution in Nepal. For the video of the interview and the full transcript, go to www.news.bbc.co.uk.
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