Communists Seek Majority in New Nepal Elections

By Jim Genova, in People's Weekly World,
1 July, 1995, pg. 15

The two main opposition parties, the Nepalese Congress and National Democratic Party, combined to bring down the Communist-led minority government forcing new elections for Nov. 23.

The two right-wing parties, who had earlier supported the Communist bid to form a government, tried to introduce a no-confidence motion in the hope of being asked to form a government themselves. However, this move was foiled by Communist Prime Minister Manmoham Adhikari who asked the King to dissolve the House of Representatives and call new elections - elections that the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) is expected to win.

Since forming a minority government after last year's elections, in which the CPN-UML won 88 of the 205 seats, the Communists have embarked on a massive land redistribution program which has provided thousands of acres of land to previously landless peasants - Nepal is a largely agricultural nation and an overwhelming majority of the population comprised of peasants.

The Party has also established hundreds of hospitals and rural clinics which has already shown a marked improvement in the general health of the population. They were in the midst of this campaign and a literacy campaign when the pro-monarchist parties conspired to bring down the government.

Recent visitors to Nepal have witnessed the massive support that the Communists enjoy among the people and expressed confidence that in the coming elections the Party will strengthen its position in parliament, possibly to the point of winning an outright majority.

In the interim, Prime Minister Adhikari will remain in office and the land, health and literacy programs will be continued. Under Nepal's constitutional monarchy, the King is obliged to offer the prime ministership to the leader of the largest party in the House. If that party is unable to form a government and win a confidence motion within 30 days, new elections must be called. There is no provision for providing a government of lesser parties, thus blocking the machinations of the declining right-wing parties.

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