After six years, the Nepali peace process is entering an explosive new phase. The directly-elected parliament/constituent assembly failed to agree a new constitution at the end of May, and was dissolved, pending new elections in November.
The Maoists, formerly a guerrilla insurgency, then the party with most seats in the constituent assembly, are currently the dominant partner in the coalition caretaker government.
On 18 June, the party split into two.
The party in government, hilariously, continues to be the ‘Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)’. The breakaway, headed by former vice-chair Mohan Baidya, is called the ‘Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)’. This is the original name of the party, used by rebel Maoist Matrika Yadav when he broke away in 2009 (see PN 2506).
The Baidya-led party is said to regard the 2006 comprehensive peace accord (that ended the 10-year civil war) as a strategic error. Baidya himself has argued that: ‘The objective circumstances are favourable for a revolution. We should now create the subjective circumstances for revolution.’
Most of Nepal’s political parties have declared that they will refuse to take part in the elections, and are trying to dislodge the Maoist-led coalition on the basis that the dissolution of parliament was unconstitutional.