24-30 January 2014 #691

In retrospect

UCPN(M) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s speech to party members, Nepal, 19 January

The results of the second CA election may have been unprecedented for our party, but this is a result of both internal weakness and opportunism of external elements. Even though conspiracies, irregularities and downright fraud characterised this year’s elections, it is important also to reflect where we as a party went wrong. I have prepared this draft with the hope of correcting past mistakes and for a historical rebuilding of our party.

External reasons for our loss

** Long-standing status-quoist pro-monarchy forces became prevalent against the change proposed and brought about by the Peoples’ War and the 19-day historical uprising

** Many of our own supporters were denied the right to vote because their names were removed from the voters’ lists

** Since the 2006 uprising, many of our rural supporters have gone abroad

** Anti-change media tampered with our messages of identity and federalism thus misinforming the people of our true agendas

** Our party’s split divided our own supporters against each other, and other opposition parties like NC and UML took this opportunity to buy votes in bulk

** Because the last CA failed to draft a constitution, people paid more attention to candidates proposing development plans

**Surprising and unlimited spending by reactionaries and opportunists

** Widespread vote fraud

Internal reasons

** We were the largest party, but still the people never warmed to our ideals

** We couldn’t take a stand regarding who should lead an electoral government and we made a suicidal move by trusting the bureaucracy by overlooking its conservatism

**Internal squabbles made both our government and party ineffective.

** Working-class values were lost and the centralist policy of the party did not allow for sharing of responsibilities. We tried to reform our party’s structure at the Hetauda convention but instead had to accept a short-term goal of going into elections under the chairman’s leadership, instead of divesting powers

** Our party could not play a leading role in conserving the country’s sovereignty, as shaped by the uprising , and weaknesses led to compromises in the name of balancing diplomacy

** We fell into the trap of overestimating ourselves and underestimating rivals

** We didn’t pay attention to the technical details of campaigning for an election and we failed to mobilize the YCL, like we did in 2008

** Our inability to maintain a standard while selecting and balancing FPTP and PR candidates is a sign of factionalism, egotist thinking, and liberal leadership

** Party ranks were maintained on money instead of party spirit

** Members took money from reactionaries and worked against their own party

** We failed to distinguish identity and federalism from caste-based conflicts and convince people that our agendas were central to removing the prevalent class divide in our society

The party’s chairman is to blame for all these shortcomings. Because of liberalism at the top, our party was transformed from being the representative of the working class into a characterless, morally unsound, and corrupt collection of lumpen proletariats.

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