Why CPN-MC Had A Poor Performance
Leaders of the CPN-Maoist Center have been floating different reasons for the unexpected defeat in both the first and second phases of the local polls. They have said that the party could not perform in the election as expected because of the lack of experience in contesting in the local poll, lack of reinvigoration of the party organisation at the grassroots level, negative impression on the people about the party due to the party split, insufficient fund for election campaign, inefficiency in communicating with the people about the achievements made by the government in the Maoist leadership and so on. What the MC leaders have said about the party’s loss makes only a part of the total factors for the defeat.
The Maoist Center leaders have being saying that they had no expectation to be the first or the second largest party in the local poll. They had hope that they would be a strong third largest party, not the far lagging or the distant third largest one. But, with the win in the head or deputy head of only 84 rural municipalities or municipalities of the results of 618 local levels made so far, the former rebel party has been limited to a distant third while the CPN-UML has won in 276 and the NC has won in 227 local units. Although the MC leaders have calculated that the number of total votes their party has got in the local election is greater than the votes the party got in the second CA election to solace themselves, the loss the party suffered in the election is also not unexpected simply because of the deviation of the party from the revolutionary spirit.
No meaning of revolution is limited to pick up the gun and attack the state, which the Maoist did during their decade long, 1996-2006, armed rebellion. Revolution was meant to bring drastic social as well as economic changes. When the Maoist entered the peace process they vowed to continue revolution, but they deviated from their path for various reasons. They could not succeed in their efforts or they did not make necessary effort. They said they would eliminate corruption, but they could make no change in the situation.
The MC party cadres were meant to be with the people in their difficult as well as happy days, but this did not happen. The cadres seem to be detached with the people whereas the people had great expectation from them. For the dreams of a peaceful and prosperous Nepal, the people made the MC the largest party in the first CA election, but the MC failed to deliver to the people’s expectation, promulgate the new constitution. This failure resulted in the second CA poll and the Maoist became the third largest party.
Moreover, the party suffered two major splits in the lasts 5 years which did not only weaken the party organisation top to bottom but also sent a lasting negative impression about the party to the general mass. Overall party members lost the zeal they had during their revolutionary time or the armed rebellion.
Though the re-unity with a section of the CPN-Maoist or the Baidhya group infused the cadres with a slight hope, it could not reinvigorate them as such. There is no doubt, it was because of the compromise made by MC Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ that the country could get the new constitution. Equally, important is the fact that the local poll became possible only because of the government led by Prachanda. But the Maoist party could not make the people understand this properly. Because of the biased media outlets and grassroots party organisation, general people were fed with accusations made against the MC by the CPN-UML or the NC.
The MC had no means to reach to the people in time. The MC was presented as the sole cause of all the problems. The situation was such that even the grand success made by the Maoist led government to end the load shedding was dismissed while the UML leaders claimed that they had already made the plan to end the power outage when they were in the government.
Despite a very negative situation for the MC, the party got elected in 84 local levels. And this success is in itself a good performance. The MC has said that the party lost in poll by less than 500 votes and got the second position in about 90 local levels. This means, had the party tried a bit more, it could have got the victory. And there is truth in it. The MC got defeated in over 20 local levels simply because of the Naya Shakti party led by former Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai.
There are many causes of the defeat. But the most important one is the loss of revolutionary spirit in the MC, revolutionary spirit in the sense of being pro-people, staying away from or working against corruption and being transparent. If they keep such a spirit and work accordingly, there is high possibility that the MC could be the largest party within the next local election. The MC should make the 84 local levels a model from every angle: transparency, development, zero-corruption, democracy and so on.
If the head and deputy head of the 84 local units where the MC has won revive their revolutionary spirit and work really for the people, without corruption, the MC can make a comeback. But for all this to happen, the central leadership should as well be against corruption, be transparent. It does not mean that the MC lost because it got involved in corruption.
But there is such a situation in the country that any influential political party standing and working against corruption has a high chance for winning the people’s hearts because people know that corruption is the chronic problems behind the lack of minimum development in the country.