Nepal’s dominant Communist party was routed, the country’s politics swung sharply to the right, and India’s influence in Nepal is likely to soar after the first set of results from last week’s election were finalized Monday. The Nepali Congress, the country’s oldest political party and one that favors close ties with India, won 105 of the 240 directly elected seats. The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) came in second with 91 seats. Despite their party’s name, the Marxist-Leninists are considered centrists in Nepal. The majority of seats in the Constituent Assembly will be determined by proportional votes, and in those preliminary returns the Nepali Congress is again first followed by the Marxist-Leninists, according to the Election Commission of Nepal. Together, the two parties will likely dominate the new Constituent Assembly. Since a two-thirds majority in the Constituent Assembly is required for a constitution to be adopted, however, the Maoists may still play a critical albeit reduced role. The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) secured only 26 seats in the direct election, a small fraction of the total it earned in the 2008 elections.
Since the scope of their loss became clear, the Maoists have said that the elections were riddled with fraud, charges that have been dismissed by independent election observers including Jimmy Carter, the former president of the United States President. After a meeting of the group’s leaders on Monday, a Maoist spokesman said that the party would participate in the Constituent Assembly.
“We have put together a couple of conditions to participate in the assembly and will join once they are met,” Agni Sapkota, the spokesman, said.
Those conditions include an investigation into election fraud and the forging of a consensus among political parties about how the most contentious issues facing the assembly will be resolved.
Full Article: Maoists Are Routed in Nepalese Election – NYTimes.com.