After a decade of ruthless conflict and political chaos, Nepal successfully conducted its Constituent Assembly (CA) elections on 10 April 2008. Surprisingly, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) took the lion's share of seats in the new Constituent Assembly. As per the final results declared by the Election Commission of Nepal, the Maoists secured 220 seats in the CA, which will undertake the task of rewriting the constitution that will form the basis of a new government. The Maoists have secured more than the combined number of seats secured by the two dominant traditional ruling parties, the Nepali Congress (NC) with 110 seats, and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN (UML)) with 103 seats. The unambiguous emergence of the former rebels as victors in this election confirmed their remarkable transformation from a guerrilla force to the likely governing party in the troubled Himalayan nation. However, the real challenge for the future government lies in establishing peace and prosperity in the country.
The people of Nepal have confirmed the mandate of the April uprising in the elections, and it is now the duty of the political parties to fulfill the promise of creating a new democratic Nepal. However, the blame game among the political parties indicates that some parties may not participate in the government to be led by the Maoists. On several fronts, the recent elections made a great impact on the positions of the major political parties, as some new parties have emerged as significant parties while others have shrunk to minor ones. Significantly, the Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF) emerged as the fourth largest party securing a total of 54 seats, thereby almost rising to the status of the NC and the CPN (UML). But many of the former ruling and royalist parties have faced disastrous defeat in the elections. However, the Maoists conciliatory message to the leaders of other political parties and even to the suspended King for a 'graceful exit' undoubtedly elucidates their interest in cooperating with other parties. The Maoist leaders have requested the CPN (UML) and NC not to resign before forming the new government and for remaining in the future government-led by the CPN (Maoist).
As the major parties have already agreed on the republican agenda, the first meeting of the Maoist-led CA would bid farewell to the 240-year old Monarchy without any voting. However, the pro-Monarchy leaders in NC would turn against on crucial issues in order to disrupt their party's cooperation with the Maoists. Also, the CPN (UML) demanded the Maoists to dissolve their aggressive Young Communist League (YCL) and create a cordial atmosphere to join the government under their leadership. It is pertinent to understand that the Maoists by themselves cannot nominate the Prime Minister and would require the cooperation of the NC and CPN (UML). The newly elected CA could form a new government with the votes of a two-third majority only or continue the current government with some changes in it pursuant to the Article 38 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007. As none of the parties are in a position to form a unilateral government and be non-cooperative, all political parties need to reach a consensus on forming a new government or continue the current government with some changes.
In this present situation, all parties need to assess flaws in their parties to set them right and secure each other's support to establish stability while writing the new constitution. Firstly, the Maoists have to democratize their party and neutralize their sister organizations such as YCL with compliance to the democratic culture. Further, it is imperative for the Maoists to return the confiscated properties, facilitate the relocation of the displaced population, relinquish the control over public, private and government properties and stop their assault and abduction of the other party members as per the earlier agreements. Until the federal democratic republican Nepal is created, the democratic forces chiefly the NC and the CPN (UML) have moral responsibility to avoid any resentment with the Maoists since they are the ones who have attempted to bring the Maoists into mainstream politics. While the newly emerged armed groups have become destabilized, the popular representative of the Madhesi population, the MPRF expressed its willingness to cooperate with the Maoists and the new government. Also, the issue of integrating the Nepal Army and the People's Liberation Army (PLA) must be sorted out as amicably as possible. The Maoists approval of transforming the PLA into an industrial security force or national parks protection force seems to be more viable.
Finally, all the parties should work jointly in the Constituent Assembly to write a constitution within two years and hold the parliamentary elections in another six months. That's the moral obligation of all the parties and no one should shy away from that.