So the Constituent Assembly election in Nepal was largely free and fair, and with very few incidences, which certainly answered many of the sceptics – and that includes myself, I must add. Not that I was thinking the election will not happen, I just was not sure it would happen in a manner that was in stark contrast to the run-up to the election – with very little violence, and with very little accusations and counter-accusations of vote-rigging. Of course, the results have yet to come, so depending on how the major parties fare, we might start to see the complaints once the results are made public. Especially seeing the UML slipping behind the Maoist and the NC in initial stages of the count, and some of its politburo leaders likely to lose (one has already lost in KTM 1), it would not surprise me if MKN and others cry foul. However, if the observers declare the process free and fair to a large extent, then the losers will have very few issues to complain about, and their complaints will not have as much legitimacy.
As for the showing at the CA election, Maoists must themselves be surprised at how well they are doing, especially when we consider some of their pre-election tactics of threat, intimidation and violence against the other parties, mainly through YCL. I bet they are now regretting not controlling YCL’s thuggish behaviour during the election campaign. YCL’s antics must have cost them a good percentage of votes, especially in closely-fought areas, where it might cost them the seats which they could otherwise have won. Of course, we just have to wait and see if that will be the case. Initial counts certainly show however that the people might have decided to give Maoists a chance, as they had asked during their campaign.
I cannot not mention the likely result in my own constituency (although I am not in the country and could not vote) – Lalitpur 3. Well, Lalitpur 3 (whole district generally for that matter) traditionally being a leftist heartland, I am not surprised to see the Maoist candidate leading by nearly 2:1 over both the NC and UML candidates. I remember during the first general election after the 1990 movement, we had Lilamani Pokharel from the then Janamorcha (Baburam’s party, which was also the third largest party in the Parliament after that election!) as our MP. Next time I go back home, it seems Pumpha Bhusal of the Maoist will be the local MP.
Well, enough about election and elation (because of an unexpectedly good election!). My only hope is that the winners, losers, and the in-betweens will not start fighting after the results, and instead start working in earnest towards drawing a constitution that puts people first and that makes Nepal a beacon of hope in the region. I cannot wait to go back to a kingless country, which I have desired ever since that fateful night in 2001 when I heard about the royal massacre and was the first to give the news to my family back home. We are nearly there, but not there yet!
Oh yea, another new year (Nepali new year that is) is just around the corner. This time it seems to have come in the most appropriate of times (or more appropriately, the election seems to have been held in the most appropriate of times!). New year just after the election, that too a successful one it seems in terms of how it was conducted, certainly seems to be the perfect timing. For many, new year’s party might combine with the celebration of the wins of their preferred candidates (and parties) in the CA election; whereas for some, it might be a moment to reflect on the failures in the election and wonder what the new year will be like. But I am sure for most of us, it will be a time to reflect on the incredible year that is just about to end, and to be hopeful about the new year, which, if we are to believe in the promises of all the major political parties, will lead us to a New Nepal – a Democratic Republic of Nepal. As they say, hope dies last – so I continue to be hopeful.
Happy New Year 2065 to all my readers!