​Nepal sees stability under South Asia's largest communist party

By Ritu Raj Subedi
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, May 22, 2018
Adjust font size:
Katmandu, Nepal [Photo/Xinhua]

Nepal has been widely known to the world as the country with the tallest peak, Mount Everest, and as the birthplace of Buddha. Now it has a new identity, as Nepali communists have proved that they can rise to power through elections and pursue reforms essential for creating a welfare state.

Their achievement became possible after the unification of two of the country's big communist parties, the Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist–Leninist and the Communist Party of Nepal Maoist Center, to create the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN).

The newly formed CPN now commands an absolute majority at the federal, provincial and local levels of government. It has become the largest communist party in South Asia, and the third biggest in Asia generally, after the Chinese and Vietnamese communist parties.

On May 17, the two parties announced the unification and designated two chairmen of the party, Prime Ministers Khadga Prasad Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, both of whom were the heads of the dissolved parties.

Justifying the provision of two chairs, Oli said, "We are not driving a tempo," referring to a small vehicle typically used in parts of Asia for transport. "Flying a jet plane needs two pilots."

The unified party has adopted Marxism-Leninism as its guiding principle, pledging to establish a socialist-oriented "people's democracy." Based on collective leadership, it has followed a Leninist method of organization known as "democratic centralism" to run the giant party composed of cadres and leaders from diverse backgrounds. In the 441-member central committee, the Unified Marxist-Leninist and Maoist Center factions hold 241 and 200 seats, respectively.

Its six-point joint unification declaration says that the party will establish its superiority through peaceful competition and commit to the supremacy of the constitution, the rule of law, an independent judiciary and a guarantee of human and fundamental rights. It vows to bring about socio-economic transformation to promote democracy and safeguard nationalism, and ensure social justice and the dignity of the people. 

The unification has taken place as the world is marking Marx's bicentenary and showing renewed interest in his thought following the severe crisis of corporate-led capitalism. 

The resounding success of the Nepali reds is seen with awe and surprise at home and in the region. This has rekindled the people's hope that the country will be free from its prolonged transition, and focus on rapid economic growth.

The two parties had competed at the polls held last year on the planks of stability, prosperity, good governance and nationalism, and secured a sweeping mandate.

While unleashing a "left wave" across the country, the unification has guaranteed the full term of the Oli government in office. This is perhaps the biggest gain of the unity, given that no government has completed its full tenure in the last seven decades. The communist government is in a better position to take a stance on territorial integrity and sovereignty, as the meddling by foreign powers has badly weakened the sovereign power of the state.

The CPN has stated that it pursues independent foreign policies guided by the U.N. Charter, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence outlined between China and India in 1954, and nonalignment values. The left administration is poised to develop cordial ties with neighbors and the international community based on mutual equality, respect and benefit.

These parameters underpin the foreign policy vision of a new government that has maintained balanced relations with both neighboring China and India. It seeks to reap an economic advantage from the two nations as the Nepali people's aspirations for development have soared, owing in part to the tall electoral promises of the political parties.

Meanwhile, China has hailed the unification of the two parties and reiterated that it is ready to deepen beneficial cooperation with Nepal. At a press conference in Beijing on May 18, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that his country welcomed the merger of the two parties and hoped that Nepal could achieve its national development goals at an early date. Oli is embarking for China next month and expected to focus on the implementation of bilateral agreements signed with it in the past. Chinese President Xi Jinping is also visiting Nepal by the end of this year. The visits of the top leaderships of both countries will cement their diplomatic, economic and cultural relations.

Ritu Raj Subedi is an associate editor of The Rising Nepal.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter