Nepali Times
"Peoples’ multi-party democracy offers a comprehensive alternative framework of governance"

We are still in an era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. The validity of Marxism and Leninism has not diminished at all, though tremendous changes have taken place in the world in the recent past. Both the adventurist policies of ultra-leftism and liquidationist policies of rightist opportunism have caused harm to the communist movement in various countries. The communist party should exhaust all possibilities, including the political and militant mass struggle and peaceful competition to direct society towards progress and to remain in the centre of national politics according to the objective conditions of a given society.

The experience of several southeast Asian and Latin American countries and the former Soviet Union is a pointer: the adjustment of policies and tactics with a correct understanding of the needs of time together with clear class stand and outlook and dialectical approach is necessary for success and sustainability of socialism. Now the phase of setback and confusion is basically over and forces of socialism and communism are gradually regaining strength across the world. In various countries communist parties are leading strong popular movements, including the labour movement. The so-called deregulation of trade has supported the ideology of absolute market sovereignty, undermining national and political sovereignty, cultural autonomy of nations and the imperatives of domestic need of national institutions, including those in welfare and service sectors. The US-led world capitalism is not paying attention to the serious concerns of developing countries. US-led military actions and imposition of trade embargoes and blockades against developing, small and weaker countries of the world validate the analysis made by Lenin about imperialism.

When China and India were engaged in earth-shaking liberation and independence movements, the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) was established to struggle against feudalism, autocracy, comprador capitalism and imperialism. In the first decade, the CPN carried out a militant mass movement along with the participation in parliamentary and local body elections. Even during the despotic Panchayat regime, when all political parties were banned and the CPN was operating underground, the Party carried out both constitutional and extra-constitutional, peaceful and violent forms of struggle. Passing through ordeals of torture, imprisonment and harassment and enduring the polemics of ideological struggle, internal splits and deviations the mainstream communists succeeded in unifying the movement and deepening its roots among the people. The CPN (Unified Marxist-Leninist) received about 31 percent of the popular vote in the last general elections and won a majority of local bodies. After the mid-term polls of 1994, the CPN-UML had formed the minority government, now it is the main opposition in parliament. We have taken the parliamentary front as an important front of class struggle.

Synthesising the experiences of the past and closely examining the domestic and international situation, the Fifth National Congress led by Comrade Madan Bhandari adopted the programme of Peoples' Multi-Party Democracy (PMPD) as the path of Nepali revolution. At the Sixth National Congress in 1998 we carried out a resolute struggle against rightist opportunism, anarchism and petit bourgeois individualism and united the party ideologically and organisationally. The congress reconfirmed the programme of PMPD, which envisages a mass-based cadre party guided by clear Marxist outlook, organisational principles, and discipline. It was adopted after a long ideological struggle against right and left opportunism. Democratisation of the party, state and society are taken as important goals to quicken progressive change in society.

The contradiction between the toiling masses and the feudal, comprador bureaucratic capitalist classes that are collaborating with foreign monopoly capital are reflected in the exploitative and unjust production relations in Nepali society. There is unjust and unequal ownership of land, and abject poverty. Control of a large portion of the national income by a handful of powerful people renders a vast majority of the people unemployed and below the poverty line despite increasing external loans and grants. PMPD provides the answers to these questions by offering a comprehensive alternative framework of governance, economic system, education and culture, land reform and proper utilisation of foreign assistance.

The communist party has to lead the revolution to bring workers, peasants, national capitalists and patriotic forces together and establish solidarity and cooperation with the world communist and socialist movements. One of the major aspects of the PMDP is to increase the capability of the communist party by mobilising the people in all circumstances and thus lead the communist movement in a sustained manner. The supremacy of the constitution, rule of law, multi-party, open and plural society, the principle of separation of power and the system of multi-party competition, periodic elections and government of party in majority and opposition of the minority are the mechanisms to maintain wider public support and guiding state conduct. PMDP will consolidate the people's democratic movement, eliminating exploitation and oppression, developing the country both materially and spiritually and creating the ground for social transformation to achieve socialism. We have adopted the peoples' multiparty democracy model as a distinct feature of a new democratic revolution essential to a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country like ours.

The forces of socialism will march ahead in the new century and the human being will prefer the road to equality, prosperity and peace. In order to achieve successes in this regard, we need to formulate appropriate national strategies under the guiding principles of socialism with due recognition to the imperatives of time and situation and careful analysis of all relevant phenomena and changes. As Lenin said, "Concrete political aims must be set in concrete circumstances. All things are relative, all things flow and all things change."

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)