Nepal: parliamentary parties and Maoists sign agreement against king
Revolution #28, December 26, 2005, posted at revcom.us
The following is taken from an article from A World To Win News Service
5 December 2005. A World to Win News Service. In recent weeks dramatic changes have taken place in the political landscape of Nepal. On November 21 an announcement was made of an agreement between the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which has been leading a peoples war in that country for the last ten years, and seven political parties that oppose King Gyanendra. The seven parties had been represented in the parliament dissolved by Gyanendra last February and most had taken part in various governments since 1990. On December 3, Nepals capital Kathmandu witnessed the largest demonstration since 1990 as tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demand the abolition of the monarchy. A three-month cease-fire declared in September by the CPN(M) (but not respected by the reactionary Royal Nepal Army) was extended for an additional month.
Nepals parliament was established after the 1990 peoples movement attacked the old political system in Nepal in which no political parties were permitted. Different factions of the Nepal ruling class were represented in parliament through various political parties, including some phony communist parties (revisionists) that at different times occupied important government functions, and the Nepal Congress Party, which has a long history of subservience to the ruling class of neighboring India. These parliamentary parties have been vicious opponents of the peoples war--they openly supported the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) in trying to crush the revolution. So the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the opposition parties and the Maoists against the king represents a major political turning point.
Despite the fact that the parliamentary parties were united against the revolution, the divisions in parliament and the few remaining rights that existed in Nepal were obstacles for the reactionary classes to organize their strength for a final fight to the death with the Maoists. This is why, in February 2005, King Gyanendra declared emergency rule, abolished parliament, and took power directly into his own hands. While the U.S. and British imperialists as well as the Indian state made noises about deploring the demise of democracy in Nepal, in fact they were hoping that the palace and the army would be able to deliver a knockout blow to the revolution.
However, the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) led by the Maoists has been able to withstand the blows of the RNA and win some impressive victories since emergency rule was established. One of the most important was the capture and destruction of a major army base in the village of Pili in Kalicot, Western Nepal, in August. The kings inability to deliver the promised military victory over the revolution has intensified the turmoil in Nepals ruling classes, including in the formerly subservient parliamentary parties. And the elimination of the few remaining democratic rights has driven even more sections of the people in the cities into firm opposition to the monarchy.
In any revolutionary process the fundamental question is state power, and specifically which class or alliance of classes controls the state. In Nepal today the war is essentially a war between two state powers, the old feudal comprador-bureaucrat regime led by the king and backed up by the RNA, and the newly emerging power of the masses of people led by a proletarian political party, the CPN (Maoist), and backed up by the strength of the Peoples Liberation Army. Ultimately victory will be determined by one of these states destroying the other. This truth is not lost on the enemies of the revolution. In fact, the U.S. ambassador to Nepal recently said that the Maoists must "enter into peace negotiations with the government in good faith, abandon their weapons, and come into the political mainstream. Until these steps are taken, the Maoists cannot be treated as a legitimate political party."
The CPN (Maoist) knows that the reason the parliamentary parties have come out in opposition to the autocratic monarchy is the strength of the revolution itself. Contrary to some press accounts and some wishful thinking by the parliamentary parties, the MOU does not contain a pledge by the Maoists to disarm. As Mao Tsetung summed up, "without a peoples army, the people have nothing."
The imperialists and the reactionary regimes of India and China are also carefully watching these developments and trying to influence them. The U.S. and Britain would like the parliamentary parties to unite with the king against the revolution. India is playing a double game. According to press accounts, India (which has a great deal of influence over some of the Nepali parliamentary forces) allowed the meetings between the Maoists and the opposition parties to take place on its territory, yet it is continuing to hold several major CPN(M) leaders in prison and gives aid to the RNA. The reactionary Chinese regime recently agreed to sell weapons to the Royal Nepal Army.
It can be sure that the months ahead will see complex and fierce class struggle as the revolution closes in on the decrepit and tottering monarchy and the question of the future Nepali state comes into sharper focus.