CPN-Maoist to boycott polls with ‘full force’
KATHMANDU, July 5: Clearing up all confusions, the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist has formally chosen to boycott the Constituent Assembly (CA) election, while at the same time leaving the doors open for talks. The party central committee (CC) meeting in Pokhara on Tuesday concluded that the upcoming CA election is merely a ploy to “Sikkimize” Nepal and urged the people and the nationalist forces to boycott the polls.
The party has also decided to mobilize full force across the country to foil the polls. The CPN-Maoist has also decided to make public its “boycott manifesto” on July 25. Party leaders said the boycott campaign will prepare the environment either for “revolt” or for “negotiations”. General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa during the CC meeting had presented a document on organizational structure and struggle programs, while Secretary Netra Bikram Chand presented a document on formation of a military wing to help conclude the new democratic revolution. Baidya´s political document that proposed election boycott was unanimously endorsed.
Similarly, Thapa´s document on struggle programs focused on implementing the party´s political document through struggle. It says the party will launch struggle programs at three levels — center, state and district. Likewise, Chand´s document has drawn a theoretical framework for the party´s military structure. “Our party has decided to boycott the polls. For this purpose the party will also form a youth retaliatory force,” CC member Kumar Shah told Republica. The party apart from mobilizing its cadres has also decided to mobilize its youth, peasant, student and other wings against the polls. “The youth force will retaliate if the government uses force against us,” said Shah, adding that the youth wing will also appeal to the people to boycott the elections. “The party´s entire force would be mobilized to inform the people why the party decided to boycott the election,” he said.
The party has said that it has the right to peacefully boycott the election and to persuade the people to do the same. “We will go to the people with the manifesto asking the people to boycott the election,” party spokesperson Pampha Bhusal told Republica. She said that the boycott campaign would be launched after holding meetings of the state committees and district committees. The campaign will be launched in all the 75 districts across the country.] Bhusal said that the party would also prepare itself to counter the government if the latter invites confrontation by deciding to go ahead with holding the polls.
“We are for peace in the country. But we will not surrender before foreign forces. We will be forced to launch a movement to safeguard national sovereignty,” added Bhusal. After the CC meeting, Maoist leaders are more hopeful as it would be easier to convince the people to boycott polls than to seek votes. “The major parties do not have a clear answer as to why the previous CA failed to draft a new constitution.
There is no guarantee that even the new CA would be able to produce a new constitution. The major parties have lost credibility. So we have an easy way of convincing the people that the upcoming election would just be a farce,” said Shah. However, the party has kept the door open for talks even as there is no likelihood of a solution through talks. The party had not taken any formal decision for the last three months but the government and the four major parties moved ahead by announcing the poll date. “We had expressed our disagreement with the election process for the past three-and-a-half months. But the government moved ahead without addressing our concerns. The decision to boycott polls is our compulsion,” said Bhusal.
Pampha Bhusal, Spokesperson, CPN (Maoist)
´The ball is in govt´s court now´
What would be the nature of the boycott?
-It will be a fresh wave of people´s movement and people´s struggle.
Could you be more specific?
-We will launch a door-to-door campaign with our appeal to boycott the election in the same way we had approached the people during the last CA election to vote for us.
Does it mean that your campaign will be peaceful?
-Yes, from our side, it will be totally peaceful. We will request people not to vote. To request people not to vote is as much a democratic right as the request to cast the ballots.
But you have already decided to form Yuva Pratirodh Dal [youth resistance squad]. Doesn´t that lead to confrontation with the state?
-It all will depends on the activities of the state. We will not surrender. If state invites confrontation, we will retaliate.
So, the country could head toward confrontation.
-It depends on the foreign forces and their stooges [the major political parties and the government]. They want to force the country toward a civil war. We are against it. But, the Nepali people cannot but launch a movement for national sovereignty movement and liberation if they are compelled.
But your party is still open for talks, isn´t it? The door is open. We have clearly said that the government should immediately stop the electoral process and stop providing citizenship to non-Nepalis if it wants a meaningful dialogue. Then, we can enter into a negotiation, which involves scrapping the 25-point ordinance on removing constitutional difficulties as well as the 11-point deals.
Baidya stays loose amid anti-election posture
POKHARA, JUL 04 – CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya has said that while his party is determined to thwart the Constituent Assembly elections set for November 19, the UCPN (Maoist) breakaway faction is also open for talks with other parties. “We will exercise utmost flexibility if the concerned parties are ready for talks,” Baidya said in a press conference in Pokhara on Wednesday. Noting that it will be an utter misjudgment to believe that only a CA could draft a new constitution, Baidya appealed to the major parties to consider their decision to go for the polls. “There are other alternatives to writing a new constitution.
The Constituent Assembly cannot deliver a new statute in the present context,” Baidya said. “Our party has decided to boycott and disrupt the elections because we are certain that the Constituent Assembly cannot guarantee a new constitution.” “A new constitution is essential, but it is our demand that the statute should be drafted by the people,” the Maoist leader said, adding that the people’s right to write their own statute has been “robbed by the status quoist and regressive forces”. He said the party will publicise its anti-election activities within a few days. “We will mobilise the party leaders, the entire rank and file and cadres of sister wings to thwart the elections. We could also forge an alliance of the 33-party opposition.”
“If this government tries to suppress our protests and muscle its way towards the elections, such a move will be tantamount to imposing facism in the country,” Baidya said. “Our party was borne out of a revolution and if this government used force to hold the polls, it will be a betrayal to the people.” The key demands pressed by the hard-line party include dissolution of the Interim Election Government headed by Khil Raj Regmi, rescinding the 11-point agreement signed by the four big parties and holding talks with broader political participation to form a unified national government under the leadership of a political leader.