The next stage for the ongoing revolution in Nepal remains in question as of the writing of this article, as the constitutional deadline of May 28, 2011 draws near.

The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) grew out of a decade-long people’s war between peasants and feudal landlords, the royal army, the police and the monarchist regime. It has the support of 80% of Nepali people, including peasant farmers, workers, students, women and other marginalized groups.

After negotiating a ceasefire, the Maoists entered parliament and have proposed a new constitution that enshrines social justice and emphasizes Nepalese economic and political sovereignty. However, if the Maoists and the opposition parties do not agree to a new constitution by May 28th, 2011 then either the Constituent Assembly’s term must be extended for another year or the country will experience what some have called a “constitutional vacuum.”

Over the last year, the UCPN(Maoist) has also experienced a sharp two-line struggle within its own ranks between those who wish to conclude the peace process through the successful promulgation of a constitution, despite the fact that this process will necessarily entail the Maoists to back down on some of their demands, and those who argue that the peace process cannot be successfully completed and that the time is ripe for a people’s revolt. Baburam Bhattarai leads the first group and Mohan Baidya (Kiran) leads the latter.

On April 26th, 2011 Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) put forward a political document that fundamentally changed the political strategy of the Party from people’s revolt to successful completion of the peace process, and argued that all appropriate steps had to be taken to ensure that the Constituent Assembly was extended. This has resulted in the Baidya faction filing a letter of dissent with the Party’s Central Committee and has resulted in Baidya accusing Chairman Dahal of eclecticism and revisionism.

A key point of contention is the proposed merger of the People’s Liberation Army (who fought in the people’s war) and the Nepalese Army. While Chairman Dahal has agreed to the plan to form one unified army without having developed a security policy, the Baidya faction thinks that allowing combatants to be brought into a unified army before any unity has been reached in regards to a constitution and security policy is a capitulation.

It is not clear how the Nepalese Maoist comrades will proceed and rumors of a split run amok every day. Only time and the unfolding events will tell what is to become of the red flag that waves over Mt. Everest; however, we are confident that the Nepalese revolutionaries will ensure the successful completion of their revolution.

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