The situation in Nepal is rapidly deteriorating. The living forces of the revolution are witnessing the withering away of a process that abolished one of the worst symbols of feudalism in the world, the monarchy. The hopes of millions of Nepalis have been put on hold. As yet there has been no meaningful land reform, poverty is still a major problem and the country’s economy is being taken over by foreign capitalists; all this with the former insurgency leaders in the government!

For the second time in Nepal since the election of the Constitutional Assembly in 2008, a Maoist is heading the Nepalese government. This time it is Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, who has become the new, 35th, Prime Minister of Nepal. But what does this mean for the Nepalese revolution?

In Nepal the stalemate in power is continuing while the ideological battle inside the communist movement intensifies. The struggle for power through constitutional means by the largest party in parliament UCPN (M) faced another defeat when on November 1st parliament failed to elect a new Prime Minister for the 16th time. [Originally published in the Think India Quarterly]

Many lessons can be drawn from the recent history of Nepalese revolutionary movements, and many dangers for the Tunisian and Egyptian masses can also be highlighted if we carefully study the situation in Nepal. [Note: as this article was being written the Maoists decided to return to government.]

After having mobilised the masses for a five-day general strike, the Maoist leaders in Nepal called it off without having achieved any of their demands. The mass movement potentially has immense power and it could overthrow the present regime and move towards a Socialist Nepal. The Maoists have a huge responsibility in this situation. Time is running out. They should take the power.

The calling of a general strike in Nepal is an important turning point in the situation. The Maoist leaders are using the classical method of the organised working class. It has the potential to go well beyond the drafting of a new constitution. The potential is there for the working class, backed by the peasants, to come to power.

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