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Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix International Crisis Group 2012-08-27

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Asia Report N°234 - 27 August 2012
Crisis Group
A. Growing Apart 5
B. The End of the Maoist Army 7
C. The New Maoist Party 8
1. Short-term strategy 8
2. Organisation and strength 10
3. The new party's players 11
D. Rebuilding the Establishment Party 12
1. Strategy and organisation 12
2. The new factionalism 14
A. Nepali Congress 15
B. UML 17
C. Madhesi Parties 19
D. Far-right Parties 21
A. Parties of the Future? 23
1. Janajati party politics 23
2. Upper-caste groups 23
B. The Tharu Movement 24
C. Ethnic and Regional Groups 25
D. The Militant Far-Right 27
A. The Dalit Movement 28
B. Women's Groups 29
A. Map of Nepal 31
B. Glossary 32
C. About the International Crisis Group 34
D. Crisis Group Reports and Briefings on Asia since 2009 35
E. Crisis Group Board of Trustees 37
Crisis Group
Asia Report N°234
27 August 2012
The peace process and stalled constitution writing exercise, in particular the debate about federalism, have expanded Nepal' s political matrix. Identity politics is a mainstream
phenomenon and new ethnic-based and regional political
forces are coalescing. Actors who want a federal structure
that acknowledges Nepal's many identities have allied,
overcoming other political differences. The Maoist party
has split. Once centrist forces have moved to the right. All
parties are grappling with factional and ideological divisions. Old monarchical forces are more visible. How these
political shifts will settle depends on the parties' decisions
on resuming constitution writing and future electoral calculations. The Constituent Assembly has been dissolved
after failing to deliver the new constitution on the 27 May
deadline. The constitution was to establish federalism and
address the demands of marginalised groups. Social polarisation over these issues compounds constitutional uncertainty and the legislative vacuum. The tensions around
federalism and fluid political equations threaten to provoke volatile confrontations.
The elections to the Constituent Assembly in 2008 changed
Nepal's political landscape, and not only because the Maoists unexpectedly emerged as the largest party after ending
their decade-long insurgency. The new Madhesi parties
representing the plains populations ofthe southern Tarai
belt became the fourth largest force in the assembly. The
Maoists and Madhesis argued Nepal needed what they
called ethnic federalism. Devolution of state power to new
states created along ethnic lines is meant to address the
historical marginalisation of'janajati or ethnic or indigenous groups and Madhesis. Janajati groups did not become
a mainstream parliamentary phenomenon then, but the issue
became the centrepiece ofthe peace process, which envisaged sweeping structural changes. Since the election, the
traditional Nepali Congress party and the Communist Party
of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) have rejected
many aspects ofthe proposed socio-political transformations, notably by opposing identity-based federalism.
In May 2012, when it looked as if identity-based federalism was slipping away, janajati politics came together. A
multiparty caucus of ethnic Constituent Assembly (assembly) members became assertive. An informal pro-federal
ism alliance emerged, which included the Maoists, a large
front of Madhesi parties and the janajati caucus, putting
identity at the centre of Nepali politics. There are also social
or intellectual movements associated with all pro-federalism actors. Outside political circles, the general public is
increasingly asking that all parties clarify their positions.
The ramifications of the Maoist split, which was made
official in lune 2012, are unclear. The smaller new party
says the Maoists surrendered too much during the peace
process. But the division was also about personal rivalries
and ambitions. The breakaway party says it will not immediately launch another war and is reaching out to diverse,
sometimes mutually hostile actors, including former Maoist fighters, ethnic activists and ultra-nationalists. The establishment party - what remains ofthe original Maoist
party after the split - is much stronger, but has serious
problems of discontent and factionalism within its ranks.
Both Maoist parties are struggling over assets and cadres;
these contests could spread even to factions within the
parties. A protracted feud is also certain over which ofthe
two parties is more faithful to the agenda of transforming
Nepal and to leftist ideology.
The Nepali Congress, the second largest party after the 2008
elections, has led the fight against federalism and inclusion. It has other serious problems, including a leadership
crisis, factionalism and discontent among top leaders.
Meanwhile, the UML, the third largest party in the last assembly, took disciplinary action against members sympathetic to ethnic demands. These members are underpressure from ethnic groups to choose between their party, which
refuses to compromise on identity-based federalism, and
their constituencies, which are increasingly favourable to it.
Both the Congress and the UML are popular in Nepal's
opinion-making circles and must decide if they want to
cater primarily to the upper-caste, upper-class and urban
elites, or return to a broader social base. They have moved
from occupying what was traditionally considered the
centre in Nepali politics to being on the right. This space
is for those who claim that federalism, political inclusion
and minority rights damage national unity and meritocracy.
Actors in this position consider that inequality has pri-
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012 Page ii
marily economic bases and that policies addressing ethnic
discrimination harm individual rights. They define themselves as democratic as opposed to the Maoists and ethnic
groups, who they present as illiberal and to the far-left or
The far-right is occupied by a monarchist party and other
formerly royalist actors, who have gained some visibility
and confidence. This is more due to the mainstream parties' sloppiness and bad faith than widespread nostalgia
forthe monarchy. Although there is little chance ofthe
king returning, other aspects ofthe old system, particularly
Hinduism, could be deployed in new political ways to
counter the anxieties that stem from federalism.
Cooperation between the Maoists, Madhesi front andj'a-
najatis would have seemed unlikely until recently, as there
are many contradictions between these groups. These will
persist, but the parties are likely to still find common
ground. Their ability to forge and maintain electoral alliances, however, will depend on local circumstances and will
be challenging. Janajati leaders will compete with Maoists,
old Maoist-Madhesi tensions could resurface and Madhesi-
janajati relations are still often far from warm.
The Madhesi parties, prone to repeated splits, are unlikely
to lose their collective hold over Madhesi loyalties. Yet
they too must recalibrate. Their repeated splits, the perception that they are more corrupt than the other parties
and increasingly visible caste politics could reduce their
collective bargaining power.
The ground has shifted beneath Nepal's peace process.
New forces - organised and spontaneous, pro- and anti-
federalism, inside and outside parties - complicate negotiations but must have their say. The parties and leaders
assume there is no alternative to themselves. They are
wrong. The anxieties and expectations surrounding federalism are a widespread phenomenon. The shift towards
potentially polarising ethnic politics is encouraged because
mainstream political actors are scattered, often vague and
sometimes dishonest, distracted by mutual sniping and
prone to making undemocratic and unsympathetic deals.
These mainstream politicians need to set their own houses
in order, listen to others, know what they stand for and get
on with the constitution. Otherwise they risk ceding political space to extremists of every hue who might appear
more pragmatic and sympathetic to a frustrated polity.
Kathmandu/Brussels, 27 August 2012
Crisis Group
Asia Report N°234
27 August 2012
Political parties have been the fulcrum of Nepal's peace
process.1 The design ofthe peace process is premised on
the primacy of parties and assumes they will behave in
well-ordered, homogenous ways. The reality is that all of
them, including the new ones, still demonstrate the well-
documented dysfunctions that hobbled democratic politics
throughout the 1990s - dictatorial leaders, little consultation on policy, barely any internal voting, backroom deals,
patronage networks and corruption, caste or regional affinities, resistance to dissent, dismissiveness of smaller
voices, being or using proxies. These behaviours have had
a direct impact on the parties' ability to enter into a sustained and substantive negotiation on the peace process
and constitutional issues.
Ideological differences have been equally critical and underpin the present impasse. Nepal's recent political history has been marked by a series of polarisations. During
the 1990s and the insurgency, it was between the monar-
1 For an account of how political party dynamics hindered constitution writing and contributed to the end of the Constituent
Assembly and parliament, see Crisis Group Asia Report N°23 3,
Nepal's Constitution (I): Evolution not Revolution, 27 August
2012. For previous Crisis Group reporting on the role ofthe
parties in the peace process, see Crisis Group AsiaReports N°106,
Nepal's New Alliance: The Mainstream Parties and the Maoists, 28 November 2005 and N° 126, Nepal's Peace Agreement:
Making it Work, 15 December 2006. For extensive background
on the tendencies and behaviour of political parties and the Nepali state, see Crisis Group Asia Report N° 194, Nepal's Political Rites of Passage, 29 September 2010. For the parties' engagement with peace process and how factional and ideological
disputes have affected constitutional negotiations, see Crisis
Group Asia Briefings N° 131, Nepal's Peace Process: The Endgame Nears, 13 December 2011; N° 120, Nepal's Fitful Peace
Process, 7 April 2011; Asia Reports N°199, Nepal: Identity
Politics and Federalism, 13 January 2011; N°128, Nepal's
Constitutional Process, 26 February 2007; N°132, Nepal's
Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists, 18 May 2007; and N° 104, Nepal's Maoists: Their Aims, Structure and Strategy, 27 October
2005. For the relationship between individual parties and international actors, and the role of the Nepal Army, see Crisis
Group Asia Reports N° 173, Nepal's Future: In Whose Hands?,
13 August 2009 andN°211, Nepal: From Two Armies to One,
18 August 2011.
chy and the political parties. With the monarchy's demise
after the 2006 peace deal, it was between the traditional
parties and the former rebels, the Maoists. Now, the wartime Maoist army has been disbanded and the party itself
has split. After the war and the 2006 lana Andolan or Peo-
ple's Movement, the street protests that unseated the king
and began the peace process, new political space opened up.
This was filled not only by the Maoists, but also by identity-based groups such as Madhesis and ethnic janajatis2
The commitments to address inequality and marginalisa-
tion on the basis of identity in the 2006 Comprehensive
Peace Agreement (CPA)3 were refined in 2008 after the
Madhes Andolan or Movement pushed for federalism to
be included in the interim constitution.4 The Madhes An-
For the purposes of this report, "Janajatf refers to the umbrella term for a large number of ethnic groups, most from the
hills, who are outside the caste Hindu system and claim distinct
languages, cultures and, often, historical homelands. Since the
1990s, this ethnic or "nationalities" definition has included a
claim of indigenousness. "Madhesi" refers to the umbrella term
for a population of caste Hindus residing in the Tarai region
who speak plains languages and often have extensive economic, social and family ties across the border in northern India.
"Tharu" refers to the indigenous populations ofthe Tarai plains.
Other terms include "Dalits", or Hindus considered "untouchable" by upper-caste groups of "Muslims", who can be of both
plain and hill origin, though they predominantly live in the
Tarai. "Upper caste" refers to members ofthe two highest castes
hill- orpahadi-origin Hindus, Brahmins and Chhetris. Similar
upper-caste groups are also part of Madhesi Hindu populations,
but unlike the hill upper-caste groups, they are not closely associated with the dominant culture of Nepal. For more on identity politics, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal: Identity Politics
and Federalism, op. cit.
3 The full text ofthe CPA is available
10498. Clause 3.5 addresses discrimination and inclusion. The
"socio-political transformation" and related issues such as land
reform are addressed in other clauses, including 3.6, 3.7, 3.10
and 3.12.
4 Other concrete changes as a result ofthe Madhes movement,
as well as janajati or ethnic agitations in 2007 and 2008, were
amendments to the electoral system to include proportional representation for parties and some legislation to make state institutions more inclusive. More nebulous but equally powerful calls
continue for greater "recognition" of Nepal's many non-dominant
identities. Federalism itself is not seen as being only about de-
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012	
Page 2
dolan became a political and electoral phenomenon, in
addition to being a social movement dedicated to ending
discrimination against Madhesis, who are caste Hindus
from the Tarai plains and have extensive cultural and familial ties across the border. A few ethnic activists also
tookthe path of party politics in 2008, joining established
parties. Now, ethnic actors in mainstream parties and outside them are considering a similar transition into mainstream politics along identity lines. The larger traditional
parties, which have steadily moved rightward, are also trying to clarify their positions and take stock oftheir changed
The federalism debate is the defining issue in Nepali politics forthe foreseeable future. The Maoists, Madhesis and
newly influential ethnic actors want the country to be restructured such that non-dominant Nepali identities are
acknowledged through the names and borders ofthe new
states. Members of historically marginalised groups also
claim greater and more meaningful representation in politics and state institutions, a demand usually called "inclusion". The Nepali Congress and UML argue that going
down this road will atomise the Nepali polity, weaken the
state and make it vulnerable to manipulation by external
actors. They also say it will penalise poor members ofthe
dominant upper-caste Hindu communities. While it is possible forthe major actors to negotiate compromises on federalism, they cannot give up the project of state restructuring entirely, as this will invite a backlash from the many
groups that see federalism as their best chance to improve
their lives. Resuming negotiations to write the new constitution is therefore critical.
The parties have not decided on the best way to return to
negotiations on constitution writing. This decision is inextricably linked to a change of government. When the
term ofthe Constituent Assembly ended on 27 May, Nepal also lost its parliament, as the same body performed
both functions. The government in power at that time, a
centre-left Maoist-Madhesi coalition headed by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, continues as caretaker. The Congress, UML and numerous smaller parties are in opposition. When the assembly ended, Prime Minister Bhattarai
announced elections to a new Constituent Assembly for
November 2012. That date is not realistic without a political
agreement and given the time constraints on the election
commission. The next window for elections is March-May
2013. A number of politicians across the board say that
instead of holding elections to a new assembly, the old
one should be reinstated and negotiations resumed in that
context. As the Interim Constitution allows for neither
option, any further move will in effect be unconstitutional
and only feasible if all the parties agree to it.
The opposition parties ask that before any decision is
made on the constitution, the prime minister step down in
favour of a new government under their leadership. The
Maoists and other pro-federal actors are concerned giving
up the reins of government without guarantees on constitutional issues will allow the Congress and UML to put
federalism on the back burner. Each side believes that the
political landscape will change in the next election, whether it is to a new Constituent Assembly or a general election under a constitution. The pro-federalists believe there
is a critical mass in their favour. Their opponents calculate
that they can capitalise on the public's disillusionment with
the parties and fear of change. Yet, neither is certain of
winning. All actors are therefore driven by considerations
oftheir own political futures as well as their agendas.
This paper examines the potential for the parties to adapt
to their new circumstances. It first describes the split in
the Maoist party and the constraints that both parties face.
It then analyses the challenges established and emerging
political actors face in defining agendas that are both distinctive and broadly appealing. A companion report published simultaneously, Nepal's Constitution (I): Evolution
not Revolution, describes the impact that debates on federalism and identity politics had on the Constituent Assembly, which ended before the constitution was completed,
and analyses the options available to reopen negotiations
on the new constitution. Together, these two reports describe the interplay of issues, political behaviours and the
constantly shifting balance between actors that will determine whether and when Nepal will get a constitution and
what it will look like.
Research for this paper was carried out in Kathmandu,
Banke, Bardiya, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Dadeldhura, Doti,
Dhanusha, Siraha, Saptari, Morang, Sunsari, Ihapa, Dhankuta, Ham and Panchthar districts; Maoist People's Liberation Army Sixth Division cantonment in Dasarathpur,
Surkhet district and First Division Cantonment in Chula-
chuli, Ham district in May, August, October and November 2011 and between April and luly 2012. Interviews were
conducted with members and senior leaders of Nepal's
political parties across the spectrum, as well as activists,
journalists and researchers.
centralisation or devolution, but also about recognising the
many narratives among Nepal's extremely diverse population.
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012	
Page 3
For almost a decade, rumours circulated of an imminent
split within the Maoists, but they remained more cohesive
and disciplined than their highly factionalised rivals. Until
recently, there had been three factions within the Unified
Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M or the "establishment" or "parent" party): that of Chairman Pushpa
Kamal Dahal "Prachanda"; that of former Senior Vice
Chairman Mohan Baidya "Kiran"; and that of Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai, who is also the prime minister.
Longstanding ideological disputes and personality clashes
have led to a vertical split in the party.5 On 19 lune 2012,
the faction led by Baidya, often regarded as more dogmatic, announced the formation of the Communist Party of
Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M, or "the new Maoist party").6
There had been sharp differences between the Baidya faction and the establishment led by Prachanda and Bhattarai
over strategic moves like disbanding the party's army, the
People's Liberation Army (PLA), the position vis-a-vis
India and tactical alliances with other parties. Many longtime members believed the party was compromising too
much of its core agenda, including ethnicity-based federalism and Nepal's sovereignty.7 Throughout the peace pro-
For Crisis Group reporting on the development ofthe current
rift within the Maoist party, see Crisis Group Briefings, Nepal's
Peace Process: The Endgame Nears, and Nepal's Fitful Peace
Process, both op. cit.; and Crisis Group Report, Nepal: From
Two Armies to One, op. cit. See also Crisis Group Reports, Nepal 's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists, and Nepal's Maoists:
Their Aims, Structure and Strategy, both op. cit. This section is
based on interviews with members in the politburo and central
committee of both Maoist parties as well as researchers in
Kathmandu, from January to March and May to June 2012, district-level leaders from different factions in Banke, Bardiya,
Dadeldhura, Doti, Dhankuta, Dhanusha, Jhapa, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Morang and Sunsari districts between April and June
2012; and some Maoist combatants and commanders in Kathmandu in March 2012.
6 Recent Crisis Group reporting has sometimes characterised
the dissident faction as "dogmatic" or "purist". These labels
explain ideological positions relative to the mainstream, including the Maoist establishment, but they do not adequately reflect
the appeal ofthe new party, its practical decisions, capacity or
organisation. "These labels make us sound like irrational warmongers. This is not true. Rather, we have a strong ideological
and analytical basis for our position", said a Baidya faction leader in the eastern Tarai. Crisis Group interview, Janakpur, May
2012. Crisis Group has previously argued against using a "hardliner"-"softliner" distinction. Crisis Group Report, Nepal's
Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists, op. cit., p. 2.
7 For example, senior leader Ram Bahadur Thapa "Badal", who
was general secretary of the UCPN-M and has the same position in the new party, described the handover of Maoist combatants, weapons and cantonments to the Nepal Army in April
cess, the Baidya faction was sidelined from decisions on
the constitution and the PLA, as Prachanda was the primary mediator with the other parties. The latter is accused of
imposing his views on the party. But the split was not only
about ideology or strategy. Among top leaders, there are
competing personal ambitions at play. Many members and
cadres are also disillusioned by what they perceive as corruption and greed displayed by some leaders.8
Chairman Baidya has said the party is not preparing for
an all-out insurgency. He is less clear about whether a
"people's revolt" - generally understood as an urban insurrection - is still on the table.9 Policy decisions are on
hold until the new party's general convention planned for
February 2013. Until then, it will focus on strengthening
its organisation and weakening the government. When
negotiations begin about whether to revive the assembly
or hold elections, the new party, which is now a separate
political force with its own ideology, will need a seat at
the table.
The CPN-M has so far attracted war-time party members,
former members ofthe PLA, ethnic orjanajati members,
and members under 40.10 Although some senior leaders
have business interests, the new party is seen as relatively
untarnished by the wheeling and dealing the leadership of
the UCPN-M is adept at. It caters primarily to cadres and
sympathisers ofthe Maoist movement, not necessarily to
voters orthe Maoist party's recently-cultivated bourgeois
and middle-class supporters.11
The new party is portrayed as having split from the bottom up. Although this is an overstatement, its various levels do appear to be more integrated and in contact with each
other than the establishment party, which at times resembles a large bureaucracy with increasingly out-of-touch
2012 as "an extreme form of liquidationism". "Hardliners condemn PL A handover to NA", The Kathmandu Post, 11 April2012.
8 Sudheer Sharma, "Maobadi rupantaranko antim gantho",
Kantipur, 14 March 2012.
9 "People's revolt" and "urban insurrection" are used synonymously to denote the final stage in the capture of state power
through violent means. Baidya complains that he is misquoted
by the media as demanding an immediate revolt. Yet, this option is clear in the political document he presented at the June
2012 Kathmandu conclave, which endorsed the split. Mohan
Baidya, "Nawa sansodhanbadka biruddha bichardharatmak
sangharsha chalaudai krantilai nay adhangale aghi badhau", June
2012. Baidya has often said that the peace process will not help
the party attain its goals, only a revolt will. See, for example,
Mohan Baidya, "Bartaman paristhiti ra hamro karyabhaf', political document presented at Palungtar plenum, November 2010.
10 Crisis Group interviews, journalists, Maoist party members,
researchers, March-June 2012.
11 Crisis Group interviews, researchers, former member ofthe
Maoist party, Kathmandu, June 2012. See also Sudheer Sharma,
"Itihas doharyaune akanshya", Kantipur, 20 June 2012.
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012	
Page 4
leaders.12 The CPN-M took away about 30 per cent ofthe
parent party's central committee, and about a third of its
former assembly members. But ifthe assembly were reinstated, this would still fall short ofthe number required to
form a separate parliamentary entity. Indeed, the new party would need 40 per cent ofthe establishment party's
central committee members or parliamentarians.
There will be further realignments between the two parties and even within them. Some members may only take
sides after broader politics settles. Even after the split, all
is not well in the establishment party. There are factional
struggles and mutual suspicion and recriminations, as well
as competition over resources. As both parties and various
factions attempt to woo each other's members and consolidate, these differences could sharpen. The establishment party could also face heightened tensions as it debates next steps related to the election or revival ofthe
assembly and deals with the frustrated ambitions of many
in its own ranks, including the chairman, Prachanda.13
The current dynamics could lead to some violence between the two Maoist parties.14 There have been disputes
over who owns district party office buildings, some of
which are worth millions.15 There could be confrontations
overthe control of resources including construction contracts, "donations", and business interests.16 Occasional
Party leaders including both Bhattarai and Baidya have frequently accused Prachanda of adopting "bureaucratic centralism", instead of being in constant touch with the masses and
addressing their concerns. See, for example, "Maoist plenum to
take up conflicting documents", Republica, 14 September 2010.
13 The parties had come to a tentative agreement on a semi-presidential system of government and Prachanda wants to be Nepal's first directly elected president. Delays in writing the constitution or a re-negotiation of all issues jeopardises this ambition.
14 In some districts the margin between the two groups is narrow and there has been contestation in district committees and
fraternal organisations. There could be some correlation between
the size and strength of the party in a district and the intensity
of future power straggles. By April 2012, forexample, inBanke,
Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur - all districts with a strong
Maoist party presence - the district committees had split, but neither side was giving up easily and there were sporadic clashes
between supporters. In Dadeldhura and Doti, where the Maoists' presence is not as powerful, this struggle was less visible.
15 Crisis Group interviews, cadres from both Maoist parties,
Kathmandu, June 2012. For example, there were clashes between activists of both parties over the Chitwan district office,
which is estimated to be worth Rs.50 million ($556,367). The
breakaway party occupies it now. See "12 hurt as rival Maoists
clash", The Kathmandu Post, 1 July 2012.
16 The Maoist party and individual leaders have a broad range
of commercial interests. Some are explicit and others are through
proxies. Beyond that, at the district level, there has often been
contestation between various parties overthe award of tenders.
clashes between the party's different factions had occurred
even before the split, particularly in the powerful and lucrative trade union.17 The parties may clash when cadres are
mobilised for political programs. The CPN-M is strengthening its youth wing, the People's Volunteers Bureau,
while the UCPN-M has said it will mobilise its Young
Communist League YCL).18
The enduring fight between the parties will be over their
agenda, and what went wrong and when.19 Both sides claim
to stand forthe same revolutionary goals, namely transforming the Nepali state, and say their position is correct.
The new party had long argued that the assembly would
not be able to frame a "pro-people" constitution with forward-looking state restructuring because ofthe conspiracies of "foreign powers and their stooges".20 The demise
For more, see Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op. cit., pp. 8-9
17 See for example, Dil Bahadur Chhatyal, "2 injured as Maoists clash", Republica, 8 April 2012. The Bhattarai and Prachanda factions have also clashed. See "Maoist unionists clash
three hurt", Republica, 29 March 2011; "Trade union leader
attacked", The Kathmandu Post, 28 August 2011.
18 The People' s Volunteers Bureau is still in the planning stage.
It was formed before the split, under the leadership of Netra
Bikram Chand "Biplov", who is now a senior leader in the breakaway party, in March 2011. At the time, it was an attempt by
Prachanda to divide party responsibilities among factions to
reduce discontent and neutralise opponents. The YCL is the
militant youth wing formed by the Maoists after the People's
Liberation Army was sent to cantonments at the start of the
peace process. YCL activity was significant until 2010, as the
party carved out political space and economic opportunities at
the local level. Dismantling the league's "paramilitary structure" was a major demand ofthe Nepali Congress and others.
Since 2010, the YCL has been significantly less visible. The
party's interests were more well-established and it could afford
to "concede" the YCL. The UCPN-M also uses other entities
for more explicit political mobilisation, such as its ethnic fronts
and professional groups. For more on the YCL, see Crisis Group
Reports, Nepal: From Two Armies to One, op. cit., p. 20, and
Nepal's Political Rites of Passage, op. cit., p. 9.
19 There has been a lively exchange of jargon-laden insults between the factions. Prachanda has accused the Baidya faction of
being "dogmatists ideologically with a mechanical, narrow interpretation of objective reality; leftist liquidationists politically; anarchists organisationally; and with petty bourgeois impatience". The Baidya faction countered by calling Prachanda and
Bhattarai "opportunists ideologically; bureaucratic and anarchic
individualists organisationally; and politically, rightist-revisionist
liquidationists and national and class capitulators". Pushpa
Kamal Dahal, "Partyko tatkalin karyayojana ra karyakrambare
prastav", 29 March 2012; Press release by Baidya and Ram
Bahadur Thapa, 4 April 2012.
20 Before the split, the Baidya faction accused Prime Minister
Bhattarai of being an Indian "stooge" and asked that the deal
which holds the ruling Maoist-Madhesi alliance together be
scrapped as it too had been engineered by India. Crisis Group
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012	
Page 5
ofthe assembly only confirms that, they argue. The establishment party claimed it was right: identity-based federalism is still on the table and no constitution was imposed
by India, as the Baidya faction had feared. In fact, "the
assembly ended because we didn't give up the party' s policy on identity-based federalism", an establishment party
central committee membertold Crisis Group.21 The UCPN-
M says it is in power and so controls the army.22 (This is a
disingenuous stretch, as the army is controlled more accurately by a multiparty cabinet and it, in any case, retains a
degree of autonomy.) It also says the secular republic is
unthreatened and, for these reasons, the "peace and constitution" line was correct.
A. Growing Apart
The Maoist party's official line has been to pursue "peace
and the constitution".23 This has meant letting the PLA
go, negotiating a new constitution roughly in line with the
party's goals, embracing multiparty democracy and electoral politics, and acknowledging that the international
context is not favourable for revolution. In terms of ideology, the Baidya group argues that the Maoist movement
should aim to establish a classic communist regime through
countrywide insurgency, urban insurrection and a "people's
constitution".24 Prachanda and Bhattarai, on the other hand,
say the best option is to agree with the other parties on the
constitution, master the present system, wait for a favourable international balance of power and then capture state
power.25 The countrywide insurgency was needed to reach
the present point.
Briefing, Nepal's Peace Process: The Endgame Nears, op. cit.,
pp. 8-9.The Baidya group believes that Indian "expansionism"
is the main obstacle to a socialist revolution in Nepal.
21 Crisis Group interview, Maoist establishment party central
committee member, Kathmandu, June 2012.
22 Prachanda himselfphrased it somewhat differently. Atapub-
lic meeting in Kathmandu on 9 June 2012, he claimed that the
Nepal Army' s arms had come under the party' s control and that
the military was not a threat to the party. Bhojraj Bhat, "Pura-
nai tush", Nepal, 17 June 2012. This is clearly posturing, as the
relatively muted reaction ofthe other parties underscores.
23 Awkward as it is, "peace and constitution" is an often-used
phrase both by the Maoists and by commentators.
24 The Maoist party's Second National Conference in 2001 concluded that the "people' s war" alone was not enough to capture
state power. An armed urban insurrection was needed alongside
insurgency in rural areas. For details, see Crisis Group Report,
Nepal's Maoists: Their Aims, Structure and Strategy, op. cit., p.
3 and 23. A "people's constitution" is meant to "empower the
oppressed majority" and let it manage state affairs - a proletarian-led state, in other words.
25 Baburam Bhattarai, "Party ko rajnitik ra sangathanatmak
karyadisha ratatkal karyayojana", political document presented
at Palungtar plenum, November 2010.
In the 2005 Chunbang central committee meeting, the
party made the paradigm-shifting decision to accept a
democratic republic until international conditions became
suitable for revolution. This allowed the Maoist leadership
to ally with the mainstream democratic parties, at that
point sidelined by the then-king's February 2005 coup,
and paved the way for the 2006 People's Movement, the
unseating ofthe king and eventually the Constituent Assembly. But neither Baidya nor another senior leader, C.P.
Gajurel, was part of this decision.26 Both were in prison in
India at the time. When they were released after the November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, they protested
this "revisionism". Baidya argues that his delayed release
was part of an Indian design to weaken the revolution.
In 2007, the Maoists were part of an all-party interim government. Atthe party's plenum in Balaju that year, Baidya
said the party should leave the government and prepare
for a "people's revolt" to seize state power and establish a
"new democracy". But the establishment argued that the
present political phase, which it describes as bourgeois-
democratic and capitalist, could not be bypassed.27
After that, the party's "dialectical process", often a euphemism for disagreement, became less and less reconcilable. At the 2008 national conclave in Kharipati - when
the Maoists were leading the government and Prachanda
was prime minister - Baidya said the Chunbang consensus
should be abandoned. Instead, the party should declare
The decision has a long history. In 2001, at the Second National
Conference, Prachanda proposed conditions for the Maoists to
join government: an interim government (including them), a
roundtable with all interested parties and elections to a Constituent Assembly. At this time, the party also adopted Prachanda
Path, a set of strategies to tailor its existing doctrine of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the Nepali context, which the party
said was in the grip of both feudalism and imperialism. Some
features included fusing proletarian revolution and national liberation, using a protracted people' s war, insurrection and something called "democratisation of the seizure of power". "Mahan
agragami chhalang: Itihasko apariharya avashyakta", Historical
Documents of CPN (Maoist) (Kathmandu, 2007), pp. 150-204.
For more on Prachanda Path, which has been quietly dropped
since 2009, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Maoists: Their
Aims, Structure and Strategy, op. cit., pp. 23-24. Between2001
and the 2006 People's Movement, there were two ceasefires
and peace talks in 2001 and 2003.
27 See Mohan Baidya, "Naya baicharik spastata ra naya krantikari andolan shristigarnayekjuthau", proposed political document from the Balaju plenum, August 2007. "New democracy"
preserves elements of capitalism, including some individual
economic activity, but this "Marxist stage" of capitalism is conducted under the leadership ofthe proletariat. See Crisis Group
Report, Nepal's Maoists: Their Aims, Structure and Strategy,
op. cit., p. 3; Aditya Adhikari, "The Ideological Evolution of
the Nepali Maoists", Studies in Nepali History and Society, vol.
15, no. 2 (2010), p. 245.
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India its "principal enemy" and work to make Nepal a
communist state. The central committee was evenly split;
only leader Ram Bahadur Thapa "Badal", now in the new
party, was neutral. The party's guiding document thus incorporated both Prachanda's "peace and constitution" line
and Baidya's views.28
At its 2010 plenum in Palungtar, the party again adopted
a hodge-podge of both lines: to pursue the peace process
while preparing for a "people's revolt".29 This changed
again the following year at the Perisdanda meeting, when
Prachanda pushed through his "peace and constitution"
line exclusively.30
Earlier in 2012, the divide was cemented when a central
committee decision allowed the Maoists to become "one
party with two [political] lines". "Soon, we could be two
or more parties", a pro-Baidya politburo member said in
March.31 At the sub-national level, the Maoist party organisation includes district committees, committees of various
ethnic groups and state committees, unions, numerous "fraternal organisations" and village-level cell committees. These
bodies were considered the hardest to split. By March 2012,
however, they had begun to separate across the country.
"I am not really sure I have the authority to conduct business anymore", a far-western district-in-charge told Crisis
Group in April.32 In some districts, the factions were conducting simultaneous public programs, which sometimes
led to clashes. In one district, the rift had affected the Mao
ists' participation in the "all-party mechanisms", which
work with the administration on governance.33
In lune, when the Baidya faction held its national gathering of party cadres, even an offer from Prachanda to resign
as party chairman was not enough. Neither side wanted to
be seen as breaking the party up, but the differences had
clearly become irreconcilable. The end of the assembly
with no constitution on 27 May was an adequate excuse
to split. The new draft constitution could also have triggered the break, with the Baidya faction arguing that it was
not revolutionary enough and that ethnicity-based federalism had been abandoned.34
Ideology and party decisions tell only part ofthe story.
Party members, especially in districts, also often criticise
the behaviour of leaders. The UCPN-M is a sprawling
web of corporate and other interests. The increasing prosperity ofthe party and its members has led to allegations
of corruption, nepotism and favouritism.35 Party management has been a source of tension, with Prachanda seen
as authoritarian.36 After 2007, the Maoists expanded by
merging with smaller leftist parties and recruiting new
members from a broader social base. Its decision-making
bodies at all levels have thus had to accommodate influential newcomers with different priorities and working
methods. The Prachanda faction is seen to have gained
most from the peace process, financially and in terms of
control over the party. Many senior leaders in the CPN-M
"Krantikari karyadisha tatha karyanitiko thap bikash gardai
naya baicharik yekrapta ra sangathanatmak yekata hasil garna
yek jut haul", political document endorsed at Kharipati meeting, Bhaktapur, November 2008.
29 See Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op.
cit., Section III.A for more on post-election differences between Baidya, Prachanda and Bhattarai.
30 See "Dahal's peace stance riles hardliners", The Kathmandu
Post, 20 April 2011.
31 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, March 2012. The immediate reasons were the Baidya faction's increasing opposition to the 1 November 2011 deal that would eventually end the
PLA. For more, see Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Peace Process: The Endgame Nears, op. cit. The Baidya faction also objected to Prime Minister Bhattarai's dealings with India and
with the Madhesi front and asked him to resign. To avoid a split
before the party had made preparations for it, Prachanda agreed
to let Baidya hold separate programs. The dissident faction began to travel to districts to expand its support base. The party
establishment followed suit. Crisis Group interview, Maoist
politburo member ofthe new party, Kathmandu, May 2012.
32 Crisis Group interview, Maoist party district-in-charge, Kanchanpur, April 2012. By early June, the split had reportedly occurred all the way down, including at village level. Kiran Pun,
"Will the Maoist party split at last?", Republica, 6 June 2012.
33 In Kanchanpur district, representatives from both Maoist factions had been attending the all-party meetings and their arguments had disrupted proceedings for months. Crisis Group interview, journalist, Kanchanpur, April 2012. See also "Maoist
factions hold parallel rallies", The Kathmandu Post, 7 April 2012.
34 Crisis Group interviews, researcher, journalists, Kathmandu,
March-June 2012. On 15 May 2012, the leaders ofthe majorpar-
ties signed a deal on federalism that had never been discussed
before. This was rejected outright by numerous identity-based
groups from all parties, including the Maoists, through aggressive street protests. Many argued, especially in the Baidya
camp, that this deal demonstrated that Prachanda, in particular,
was selling out the Maoist commitment to ethnicity-based
states with preferential rights for titular groups. See Crisis
Group Report, Nepal's Constitution (I), op. cit., Section II. A.3.
35 Allegations of corruption come from within the party and
outside. For example, see Ram Sharan Mahat, "Feudal order's
new incarnation", The Kathmandu Post, 13 March 2012 and
Sarojraj Adhikari, "Bistarit dhanayuddha", Kantipur, 21 July
2012. "Dhanayuddha", or "wealth war", is a play on the Nepali
term for "people's war", "janayuddha". See also Section IV.B,
"Former Maoist combatants" and Crisis Group Briefings, Nepal's Peace Process: The Endgame Nears, op. cit., p. 5, and
Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op. cit., p. 10.
36 See for example, Ram Karki, "Tesro Bikalpa", political document presented at the establishment party' s plenum, July 2012.
Also see Lekhanath Neupane, "Bikritiko sagarmatha", Annapurna Post, 3 August 2012.
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feel that they were left out during distribution of new responsibilities in the party and the division of ministries
when the Maoists joined the government.37
B. The End of the Maoist Army
The Maoists' People's Liberation Army (PLA) has in effect ceased to exist. So, it would appear, has the process
of integrating some Maoist fighters into the Nepal Army
and rehabilitating or retiring the others. Most, possibly
even all, combatants will end up taking voluntary retirement and a cash pay-out. Few, if any, will enter the army
after awaiting that very opportunity for years. "Integration", as it is commonly called, was a cornerstone ofthe
Maoist engagement with the peace process. The party used
to insist integration be respectful, that is, combatants'
contribution to the creation of a secular republic should
be acknowledged, they should be treated as equal to their
counterparts in the national army and be automatically
absorbed into that institution, rather than go through a selection process. Over the past year, it has given up most
of these demands.38
An agreement was reached in November 2011, nearly five
years after the CPA, on the future ofthe Maoist fighters.39
The political parties agreed that a maximum of 6,500 of
the approximately 19,600 listed combatants would enter
or be "integrated" into the Nepal Army. The Baidya group,
many of whose members were close to the PLA and commanders, argued that the deal was insulting and incomplete. This was not the merger of two armies they had expected, but was instead a recruitment process.40
Crisis Group interviews, researchers and Maoist party members, October-November 2011, March and May 2012. See also
Sudheer Sharma, "Maoibadi rupantaranko antim gantho", op.
cit. Leaders from smaller communist parties were inducted into
the standing committee, politburo and central committee, as
well district and state committees. For example, when the party
united with the Communist Party of Nepal (Unity-Centre Ma-
sal) in 2009,31 of its members were attached to the 95-member
Maoist central committee. "Those who joined the party after
the peace process are opportunists. They are not committed like
those of us who have been with the party since before the war".
Crisis Group interview, Maoist party in-charge who has since
joined the new party, far-western region, April 2012.
38 For a comprehensive look at the role ofthe PLA and the security sector, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal: From Two Armies to One, op. cit.
39 For details ofthe deal, its early implementation and challenges ahead, see Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Peace Process:
The Endgame Nears, op. cit.
40 For example, Dev Gurung, a Baidya faction leader, claimed
that: "Army integration is [stagnant] because the parties have
failed to understand the notion that integration is either the merger of two armies orthe formation of a separate force". "Gurung
It was clear straightaway that there would be challenges.
At an initial survey shortly after the deal, over 9,700 combatants opted for integration. It appeared as if commanders had exerted pressure to raise the numbers. Factional
politics within the Maoist party also played a role. There
were differences among Maoist leaders about the ranks at
which combatants would enter the Nepal Army and whether educational qualifications they attained after formally
entering into the peace process would be considered.
All parties were under pressure to move the integration
process forward. An important sign of this was the handover of combatants and weapons. The cross-party special
committee overseeing integration and rehabilitation agreed
to survey the remaining fighters a second time to see if
fewer combatants now wanted to enter the Nepal Army .41
It also decided that the military would take over PLA cantonments, fighters and weapons by 12 April 2012.42 This
would be a signal to fighters that they were now part of
the national army, even if some issues remained disputed.
It would also be a clear sign that the peace process was
now irreversible. The Nepali Congress had long said it
could not freely negotiate constitutional issues as long as
the Maoist army was still standing and demanded that "irreversible" steps be taken to dismantle the PLA.
On the night of 10 April 2012, days before the proposed
handover, these issues came to a more dramatic head than
any side had anticipated.43 All day, there had been reports
of tensions and unrest in the cantonments. Some combatants were unhappy about being asked to choose integration over voluntary retirement. Others wanted clarity on
the matter of rank and education. Still others accused commanders of favouritism, nepotism and even ethnic bias in
their selection of people for better positions in the army.
Since the peace deal, combatants had contributed some of
their monthly salary to a party-run provident fund. There
were allegations of corruption and accusations that the
party wanted too large a share ofthe retirement cheques.44
speaks in House against Dahal-led panel", The Kathmandu
Post, 23 June 2011.
41 The Special Committee for the Supervision, Integration and
Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants was formed in October
2008 while Prachanda was prime minister. It comprised members from the Maoists and all other mainstream parties.
42 "Cantonments to be vacated by April 12", Republica, 31
March 2012.
43 Crisis Group interviews, high-ranking members ofthe special
committee and its technical branch, Maoist combatants and
commander, army officers deployed in the cantonments, in
Maoist army Sixth Division Cantonment, Dasarathpur, Surkhet,
12 April 2012 and First Division Cantonment, Chulachuli, Ham,
14 April 2012.
44 See, for example, "Cheques of 32 combatants seized", The
Kathmandu Post, 12 February 2012; "Ex-commanders demand
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Disagreement over what to do with the cantonment property spread as fears emerged that fighters would take over
the 3,000 weapons locked in the seven cantonments. Since
the cantonments were established in 2007, the Maoist
army's chain of command had been taken for granted as
reliable and strong. By nightfall, it had broken down.
In the evening, Prime Minister Bhattarai ordered the Nepal Army to take immediate control of the cantonment
security, particularly for the weapons. In some cases,
nearby units ofthe paramilitary armed police had already
been called in to protect commanders. That fully armed
military personnel entered PLA cantonments in the middle ofthe night with no negative reaction from the combatants was telling. The war-time hostility between the
two armies had dissipated or at least the combatants were
angrier at their own commanders and the party than at
anyone else. The Nepal Army behaved with extreme restraint, which helped matters. The next day, combatants
began streaming out ofthe cantonments, laden with bundles, tin trunks and their children. Inside, the army was
conducting patrols and sorting through the Maoist weapons and ammunition. It is this somewhat surreal end to
the PLA that the Baidya faction calls "surrender" and
In the fresh survey conducted after this, the number of
combatants wanting to be integrated in the army dropped
from over 9,700 to just over 3,100. With the end ofthe
assembly, some of these former fighters fear another long
stalemate. "What if they forget about us?", a young company commander asked. "I think I should take the money
and retire".46
On 4 luly, the Nepal Army began verifying educational
qualifications and age of combatants. The process was
immediately stopped by combatants who refused to accept the army's recruitment standards and the unresolved
question of education levels arose again.47 Most of the
combatants who still wanted to integrate at this time were
from the Prachanda faction. At the establishment party's
plenum in mid-Iuly, they too protested, saying the integration process was not dignified and resembled recruitment. At the same time, many former PLA commanders
probe against Dahal", Republica, 21 July 2012; and Madhav
Basnet, "Hisabkitabko khoji", Nepal, 29 July 2012.
45 Prime Minister Bhattarai, acting on a request from Maoist
party chairman Prachanda, convened the special committee, which
formally made the decision to do the handover immediately.
46 Crisis Group telephone interview, Dasarathpur, Surkhet, June
47 On 6 July, combatants in all seven cantonments had stopped
the process, saying it was insulting and warning of street agitations. "Ladaku chhanot karya sth&git", Annapurna Post, 7 July
were being charged with corruption.48 Prachanda then
threatened that none ofthe remaining combatants would
opt for integration and would instead choose voluntary
retirement unless the Nepali Congress and UML agreed
to be flexible on recruitment standards, leaving the Nepal
Army no choice but to comply.49 As threats go, it is empty,
as the traditional parties have resisted the idea of integration from the start.
As members of Mohan Baidya's new Maoist party decide
on their next steps, they are likely to keep alive resentment about how the PLA was treated. They have already
mobilised some ofthe disgruntled "disqualified" combatants, not always in peaceful ways.50 It is premature to
speculate how many former combatants might be willing
to go underground again in the service of another People's
Liberation Army.51 Some retired combatants will certainly
continue to do party work, with one party or another. They
could be mobilised for ethnic activism or electoral campaigning. All of these activities potentially contain an
element of violence. Many combatants may just want to
resume normal life or do mainstream political work, but
others could be influenced by a combination of resentment towards the party and the promise of a fresh agenda,
such as ethnically-motivated armed struggles.52
C. The New Maoist Party
1.    Short-term strategy
The CPN-M is silent on whether it prefers a revival ofthe
old assembly or fresh elections to a new one. It is also
unclear about whether it will try to win over more Maoist
members in a revived assembly, so it can be recognised
as a parliamentary force, or more members ofthe central
committee to be recognised by the election commission.
Until it decides how to deal with these questions, its actions
See, for example, Madhav Basnet, "Hisabkitabko khoji", op.
49 "Maoists for 'final talk' to revise 7-point deal", The Kathmandu Post, 22 July 2012.
50 A total of 4,008 combatants were "disqualified" from the
PLA by a UN-run verification process in 2007 for having been
underage or recruited after a certain cut-off date. For background on the grievances ofthe disqualified and some links to
the Baidya faction, see Crisis Group Briefings, Nepal's Peace
Process: The Endgame Nears, and Nepal's Fitful Peace Process,
both op. cit.; Crisis Group Report, Nepal: From Two Armies to
One, op. cit.
51 Though there were reports of combatants loyal to Baidyabe-
ing instructed to eschew integration to join the new Maoist party. "PLA integration process begins sans excitement", The
Kathmandu Post, 5 July 2012.
52 See Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Peace Process: The Endgame Nears, op. cit.; Crisis Group Report, Nepal: From Two
Armies to One, op. cit.
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are limited to sniping at the parent party and building up
its organisation.
In rhetoric and action, the CPN-M is modelling itself on
the Maoist party's activities during the insurgency and in
the early years ofthe peace process. It will likely expend
some energy on criticising what it calls the "ideological
and moral deviations" ofthe establishment party, particularly by highlighting its "betrayal" of former combatants
and "double standards" on identity-based federalism.53 In
addition to reaching out to former combatants, the party
plans to build the potentially militant People's Volunteers
Bureau, its youth wing, and wrest resources from the parent party. Leaders also demand a roundtable meeting with
political parties, and also a broad range ofthe emerging
identity-based and regional forces, to resolve the current
crisis. The CPN-M will continue to demand, possibly
through protests, that the prime minister step down. It
plans to help "safeguard national sovereignty", which means
anti-India protests, possibly in alliance with other forces
they consider nationalist, including some in the far-right.54
The purpose ofthe People's Volunteers Bureau is to work
on "security, construction of physical infrastructure and
production". In practice, this will mean everything from
competing for tenders and muscling in on the timber trade,
to expanding its influence locally as an independent actor
by getting involved in governance, informal policing, community mediation of conflicts and the like. The People's
Volunteers Bureau is not an organised force yet, but there
are plans to recruit former combatants and members of
fraternal organisations. Party leaders say the bureau will
be a combat force that could be transformed into a new
People' s Liberation Army in the future.55 The CPN-M will
Biplov has been organising disgruntled former combatants
for close to two years.
54 Crisis Group interviews, researchers, Kathmandu, March
2012; telephone interview, politburo member ofthe new Maoist party, Kathmandu, June 2012. The roundtable is an old demand ofthe Maoist movement. Many thought the Constituent
Assembly was an adequate substitute. See also Section IIA.
The far-left and far-right are ultra-nationalist constituencies and
anti-Indianism is a critical component of Nepali nationalism.
All Nepali parties clamour for the title, although the fervour
with which they adopt it at any time is directly related to the
state oftheir relationship with India. For example, the Congress
is embittered by the silent treatment it is currently getting from
India and so could well add its voice to nationalist protests.
55 Crisis Group telephone interview, politburo member of the
new Maoist party, Kathmandu, July 2012.The bureau plans to
act as the Young Communist League did from 2006 to 2010.
This means functioning as an informal local police, fundraising
by collecting "donations", facilitating the trade in expensive
herbs and forest products, influencing the award of construction
contracts and government tenders. When the bureau was initially formed in March 2011, headed by Biplov, it was meant to be
an umbrella for the YCL and a cross-section of "progressive
have to manage a balancing act with former combatants,
capitalising on discontent and feelings of humiliation while
at the same time encouraging veteran fighters to contribute some oftheir retirement packages to the new party.
Party leaders are holding closed-door meetings and training programs for cadres in the districts. Contrary to their
public statements, they are telling members to be ready
for an armed urban insurrection or, failing that, a new insurgency. The leaders argue that the "objective conditions"
for revolution are similar to those in 1996, when the "people's war" was started, and so there could be support for
another insurgency.56
At the heart ofthe new party's strategy for mobilisation is
its association with ethnic groups and the strength of its
own ethnic leadership.57 Even before the split, the Baidya
faction was reaching out to ethnic and Madhesi actors who
had not been co-opted by the establishment party and its
Madhesi coalition partners.58 Yet Baidya himself, like
some other traditional Marxist ideologues in the new party,
is known to be sceptical of ethnic demands, believing they
are secondary at best, when not actually in contradiction
with class-based politics.59 Thus although there might be
some utility in a tactical alliance, the party could find it
difficult to sustain a wide and deep relationship with ethnic politics.
nationalist youth". The party had said the bureau would have
500,000 members, but its expansion stalled when factionalism
deepened in the party. Before the split, the Baidya faction formed
a seventeen-member committee to set up and manage the People's Volunteers Bureau that included three former PLA division vice commanders. See "Maobadile ghoshana garyo waisiel
jastai byuro", Kantipur, 16 March 2011; "Baidya faction revives People's Volunteers Bureau", Republica, 25 April 2012.
56 Swarup Acharya, "Yasaibarshachhapamaryuddha: Chand",
Nagarik, 10 July 2012.
57 For example, Suresh Ale Magar, a player in the new party,
was a prominent ethnic activist before he went underground
with the Maoists in June 2000. He still has broad and deep connections with ethnic actors and organisers.
58 In March 2012, Baidya formed a front with eleven ethnic parties and organisations, demanding a constitution with federalism, ethnic and regional autonomy, inclusion and proportional
representation. "11 dalsanga Baidhyako morchabandi", Nagarik, 24 March 2012.
59 Crisis Group telephone interview, politburo member of the
new Maoist party, Kathmandu, July 2012. Baidya treads a
tricky path in the paper he presented at the June 2012 national
gathering where his party was formed. He argues that the proletarian leadership should treat ethnic issues as part ofthe ongoing class struggle and criticises "imperialists and expansionists", which means foreigners, for disengaging ethnic issues
from class issues. Mohan Baidya, "Nawa sansodhanbadkabir-
uddha bichardharatmak sangharsha chalaudai krantilai naya
dhangale aghi badhau", op. cit.
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The CPN-M is also building a foreign relations network.
The head of its international bureau has briefed Indian
leftist leaders.60 Chairman Baidya has reportedly visited
China in luly, as has senior leader Netra Bikram Chand
"Biplov". The purpose of Baidya's visit is unclear, but
the party has been at pains to suggest that he returned
with backing to "safeguard national sovereignty".61 Beijing, party leaders say, is unhappy with the establishment
party's pro-India stance and believes there is too much
Indian and Western intervention in favour of identity-based
It is extremely difficult to evaluate these claims. There is
precedent for China emphasising the importance of Nepal's sovereignty and the need for nationally-owned decisions. There is far less evidence for allegations of Chinese
support for specific political positions or actors in Nepal.
Beijing's main concern in Nepal is pro-Tibet activism
there. Since the assembly ended, there are increasing comments in private from senior leaders, government officials
and some in the diplomatic community of an emerging
Chinese position on federalism in Nepal. They say that
Beijing has seemed concerned that federalism along identity lines and too many relatively strong and autonomous
federal states along Nepal's northern border could make it
difficult for Kathmandu to control what in Nepal is called
"anti-China activity", the official language used to describe
pro-Tibet activism.62 If janajati actors perceive that the
new party is adopting such positions, this could make an
alliance difficult.
Some ofthe new party's most publicised activities so far
have involved extortion. For example, local businessmen
are again allegedly being shaken down for "donations".63
This helps raise funds and the party believes it gives ca-
"Baidya emissary hobnobs with Indian leaders", The Kathmandu Post, 20 July 2012.
61 Crisis Group interview, new Maoist party politburo member,
Kathmandu, July 2012. "Chin Nepal ma rajnaitik sthirata cha-
hanchha: Kiran", Janadisha, 27 July 2012.
62 Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, August 2012. When the
vice minister of the Communist Party of China's International
Department, Ai Ping, visited Nepal in June 2012, he cited China's difficult experience with developing states equally to prioritise "infrastructurally feasible" states. Quoted in " 'Focus on
economy, not ethnicity'", The Himalayan Times online edition,
30 June 2012. A Nepali political scientist recently wrote that
China had realised that India's support for identity-based federalism in Nepal was to ensure a weak, divided Nepali state unable to control anti-China activities. Deepak Gajurel, "Chinlai
baipas garnasakne thaun chaina", Drishti, 7 August 2012.
63 "Collecting donations" is usually a euphemism for extorting
individuals and businesses. See, for example, "Nayadalko chan-
da atanka", Nagarik, 3 July 2012. For some time during the war
and until recently in the peace process, this was an all-purpose
tool in the Maoist box. The use of muscle also reinforces the
group's local dominance.
dres a sense of purpose. Private schools, long a bane of
the Maoists, are again in focus. The CPN-M says it is targeting schools that charge high fees and have foreign
names in order to appeal to the "urban middle class". This
is entirely counter-intuitive. Targeting schools opens the
party to criticism from a wide range of actors. It is more
plausible that schools are a good source of income and an
easy target. They do often charge high fees and private
education is terribly regulated.64
The CPN-M is long on vision and criticism ofthe establishment, but short on practicality. Except for a few diehard loyalists, revolt has little appeal. The party has not
definitively rejected the current peace process either. But
its senior leaders have stayed away from mainstream political negotiations since the 2008 elections, even if they
are now trying to enter the process through support for
identity politics. In contrast, establishment leaders gained
experience in mainstream democratic politics and cultivated a wide range of relationships.65 Electoral success is
also difficult. The new party is attracting cadres, rather
than general supporters, for one. For another, it will have
to balance an intricate set of often competing class-based,
ethnic and upper-caste constituencies, especially in the
mid and far west where it is strongest. It is completely silent
on how it will manage these contradictions. While the nationalist agenda gets actors air-time and can support one-
off strikes, it does not help cement any party's position in
larger politics. Until the party presents a clear plan and
program, its role could be limited to spoiling, rather than
suggesting ways forward.
2.    Organisation and strength
The composition ofthe CPN-M is telling. Around 30 per
cent ofthe parent party's central committee left. Of these
44 members, 40 are from the war-time central committee.66 Five ofthe undivided Maoist party's sixteen standing
For example, on 16 July 2012, the student wing ofthe new party vandalised two education institutions with "foreign" names
and torched a bus belonging to another Kathmandu school alleging fee-gouging. See "Baidya's cadres vandalise schools
over name, fee issues", The Kathmandu Post, 17 July 2012 and
"Nayadal ko chanda atanka", op. cit.
65 See also Sudheer Sharma, "Itihas doharyaune akanshya", op.
66 Crisis Group interviews, central leaders of both Maoist parties and journalists, Kathmandu, June 2012. The central committee ofthe parent party had 149 members. Ofthe fifteen surviving members ofthe party's original nineteen-member central committee that launched the war; nine joined the new party.
At its largest during the war, the central committee had 95
members. The UCPN-M had 236 members in the Constituent
Assembly; 72 or just under one third defected. For some months,
a list had circulated of 92 parliamentarians reportedly with
Baidya; this would have meant that the party had the 40 per
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committee members left; all five had been instrumental in
launching the insurgency. Broadly, Baidya has the support of war-era party members, former combatants and
janajati members. The party also appeals to others who
feel left behind, including women and families ofthe war
dead or disappeared.
The real strength of the CPN-M is not clear, as many
Maoist leaders and mid- and junior-level cadres have not
yet taken sides. Both parties exaggerate their real strength,
but central-level leaders agree in private that around 2,100
"state committee" members and former PLA representatives attended the Baidya group's lune 2012 conclave that
launched the party. All of them were among the more than
5,500 representatives who attended the still-united party's
last plenum in Palungtar in November 20IO.67 This suggests that the CPN-M could have close to 40 per cent of
members from the sub-national level and fraternal organisations, assuming all those who attended the conclave stay
with it.
The establishment party has thirteen so-called state committees, which are important organisational bodies.68 The
heads of four have joined the new party. About twenty
heads ofthe three dozen party wings and fraternal organisations are with Baidya, including the important Madhesi,
Kirat, Magarat, Dalit and Newa ethnic liberation fronts,
the Association ofthe Families ofthe Disappeared, and the
Teachers' Association. The parent party controls the YCL,
the powerful students' and trade unions and the farmer's
The new party is relatively weak in other parts ofthe country, although embarrassingly for Prachanda, his home district of Chitwan has gone over to the new party, one of
whose leaders, Badal, is also from there. In most ofthe 35
districts ofthe western and central region, the establishment party has a firm majority. In the east, the new party
is weaker numerically, but many who joined it are well-
known Maoist figures.71
3.    The new party's players
Baidya is the chairperson ofthe new party. Under him are
Vice Chair C.P. Gajurel, General Secretary Ram Bahadur
Thapa "Badal", Secretaries Dev Gurung and Netra Bikram
Chand "Biplov" and Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal. The
new Maoist party is not homogenous, but has three broad
streams. There is some overlap in the thinking of various
leaders, but they do not all have the same positions on the
peace process. Individual motivations for splitting are also
One group is led by Baidya and Dev Gurung, both standing
committee members in the undivided party. Ram Bahadur
Thapa "Badal", general secretary in the undivided party
and the new one, tends to operate independently, in part
perhaps because he is more amenable to high political positions and was close to Prachanda. Netra Bikram Chand
"Biplov", another former standing committee member, is
most sceptical about the peace process and has of late been
The new party has a considerable support base in mid- and
far-western Nepal. In some parts it is stronger than the
establishment party. CPN-M Secretary Netra Bikram Chand
"Biplov" has a strong network in the region, as he spent
five years overseeing parts of it during the insurgency.70
cent of members needed to be recognised as a separate parliamentary entity ifthe assembly were revived, but not all of them
left the establishment party.
67 Crisis Group interviews, central and state committee leaders
from both Maoist parties, Kathmandu, June-July 2012. In addition to the 2,100 members who attended to become part ofthe
new party, 500 other people were invited.
68 State committees form the layer between national and district
bodies. Geographically, they are identical to the states in the
federal model the Maoists had originally proposed.
69 "20-odd chiefs of sister wings join Baidya's party", Republica, 22 June 2012.
70 Biplov was in charge ofthe Karnali zone sub-regional bureau
from mid-1997 to mid-2003. See following section for further
details. Ofthe five directly elected former assembly members
in the Karnali zone, four (from Humla, Jumla, Kalikot and Mugu
districts) are with Baidya, as are both central committee members from this area, Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma and Bharat
Bam. Crisis Group telephone interview, journalists, Kalikot,
July 2012. In the neighbouring Rapti zone too, the parties are
closely matched. In Rolpa district, where the war began, five of
the nine central committee members are with Prachanda, three
with Baidya, and one is neutral. The district and state committees are evenly split. Of ten former assembly members from
Rolpa, five are with Baidya, four with Dahal and one neutral.
Salyan's only central committee member is with Prachanda, as
are two ofthe three former assembly members. One of Rukum's
nine central committee members joined the new party, but none
of its five former assembly members left. In Dang, Baidya has
the only central committee member and four of six former assembly members.The establishment party has a majority in the
district and state committees.
71 For example, Kiran Rai, a former assembly member, is one
ofthe longest-serving Maoist leaders in Sunsari. The Maoists'
Madhesi leadership is small and prominent district-level leaders
such as Roshan Janakpuri and Mahendra Paswan have joined
the new party. Of the three former assembly members from
Sunsari, one is with Baidya, two with Prachanda. Of Jhapa's
nine assembly members, seven are with Prachanda, two with
Baidya. Morang is an important district for all parties and three
of its seven Maoist former assembly members are with Baidya,
as is the only central committee member. Crisis Group interviews, journalists and district-level leaders from both Maoist
parties, Jhapa and Siraha, June 2012; telephone interviews,
Morang, Jhapa, Sunsari, July 2012.
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backed by another former standing committee member,
C.P. Gajurel.72
The briefest profile ofthe new party's leadership demonstrates the close connections between personality clashes
in the pre-split party, quick post-war expansion, individual ambition and ideological differences.
□ Mohan Baidya "Kiran": Chairman Baidya was Prachanda's ideological and political mentor. Baidya brought
Prachanda into the central committee ofthe then-Communist Party of Nepal (Masai) in 1984. In 1986, a decade before the "people's war", Baidya resigned as general secretary ofthe party over a botched plan to start
an armed rebellion and nominated Prachanda to the
position. During the insurgency, Baidya was the chief
ofthe "eastern command". He was arrested in India in
March 2004 and released in November 2006, after the
party had changed course to adopt multiparty democracy and signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Baidya is not a charismatic mass leader, but he is seen
as clean and uninterested in government positions.
□ Ram Bahadur Thapa "Badal": Badal played a crucial role in mobilising support forthe insurgency in mid-
western Nepal, where it began. He has a complicated
personal history with Prachanda; the two are close, but
Thapa believes Prachanda has steadily encroached on
his ambitions.73 Thapa is second in command in the
new party and believes he is Baidya's successor. He does
not have a strong grasp on the organisation, in part because he did not belong to any camp, but he has grassroots respect. The Baidya faction had demanded that
Thapa and not Bhattarai be the party' s prime ministerial
candidate when the Maoists were still united. Thapa is
ajanajati, which some believe could be an advantage,
although he has not been active on ethnic issues.74
□ Netra Bikram Chand "Biplov": Not all members of
the new party are enamoured with mainstream politics. Biplov, a former PLA commissar, believes the
revolution has been abandoned and another people's
army must be raised at some point. He is from Rolpa
district, the heartland ofthe war and responsible for a
part of far-western Nepal during the insurgency and
has enduring relationships with former PLA members.
72 Crisis Group interviews, central committee leaders of the
new Maoist party, Kathmandu, June 2012.
73 In 1996, Thapa faced disciplinary action for planning a coup
against Prachanda and for an alleged affair with a colleague. He
denied both charges. See also "Badal: The game changer! ",Re-
publica, 13 July 2011.
74 Crisis Group interview, former Maoist leader, Kathmandu,
June 2012. For more on the new janajati element in national
politics, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Constitution (I), op.
cit, Section II.A. 1.
Biplov is in charge ofthe new party's finances and
heads the People's Volunteers Bureau. To plan a new
insurrection, he and his loyalists need not only resources,
but also the ideological and organisational support of a
senior leader. If he fully entered mainstream politics,
his control of party finances and the youth wing could
allow him to challenge Badal.75
Other significant figures include C.P. Gajurel, who was
responsible for foreign relations during the war. He is not
considered a dogmatic Maoist. His motivation for leaving
is thought to be a grudge against Prachanda, who he believes outmanoeuvred him for chairmanship ofthe party.
Dev Gurung was the establishment party's leading strategist on ethnic federalism. He felt the party had deviated
too far to the right, and he resents Prachanda for sidelining him in favour of another senior leader, Krishna Bahadur Mahara. Pampha Bhusal, a politburo member, has a
high public profile and briefly replaced Bhattarai as the
head ofthe party's political front in 1995, but does not
have a strong organisational base. She has been consistently loyal to Baidya.
D. Rebuilding the Establishment Party
1.    Strategy and organisation
It is unlikely that many more leaders or members will
switch over to the new party, although more cadres could.
Yet, all is far from well in the parent party. There is a
simmering resentment against leaders' perceived venality
and between the factions that remain. With the exit of
many heavyweights, a rebalancing of power will begin just
below the top. This could mean turf wars and new rivalries.
Cadres in districts often feel inadequately rewarded or
squeezed out by new members who joined after the party
began expanding in 2007.76
From the cadres' perspective, the party seems sluggish in
comparison to the frenzy of consolidation and local assertion that marked the first few years ofthe peace process.
The UCPN-M needs to reduce its number of "whole-
timers" - lower-level cadres whose full-time job is party
work and who are paid by the party. During the 2008 elections, there were as many as 100,000 such cadres. Their
strength now may be less than half that.77 "We have no
struggle programs [oppositional or pressure activities based
on mobilisation] and full-timers have little to do. It is im-
Crisis Group interviews, researchers and journalists, Kathmandu, November 2011 and March-July 2012 and Maoist party
politburo member, May 2012.
76 Crisis Group telephone interview, Maoist establishment party
cadres, Kathmandu, July 2012. Also, see Section II.A above.
77 Crisis Group interview, Maoist establishment party state
committee member, Kathmandu, July 2012.
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portant that we convert them into part-timers to counter
the perception that the party has no direction", a central
committee leader said.78
The restiveness burst into fistfights and name-calling, even
among senior leaders, at the UCPN-M's first post-split
plenum in mid-Iuly 2012. In response, Prachanda announced that the party would hold its first general convention in more than two decades in lanuary 2013 to elect a
new leadership. Prachanda has resisted a convention for
years, fearing it could weaken his hold overthe party.
Major issues came to ahead at the plenum. The party and
Prachanda were criticised severely for negotiating a "humiliating" arrangement on integration of former combatants into the national army. "Respectful integration" was
for long a major sticking point in the peace process, but
combatants argue that the 2011 deal resembles a recruitment process of former Maoist fighters, rather than the
merger of two forces. The new Baidya party has capitalised on this issue, but even for establishment loyalists, it
will remain a sensitive subject.79
Members raised many concerns about transparency and
corruption. Criticism was directed primarily at Prachanda
and his followers, and at former Maoist army commanders, many of them Prachanda loyalists. Significant sums
of money had been diverted from Maoist fighters' salaries, paid by the government from 2006 to early 2012, and
other funds meant for the cantonments. Combatants demanded an accounting of these funds. Prachanda's personal lifestyle, which has been seen as increasingly lavish, also came under scrutiny, as did the property and assets many leaders are alleged to have amassed illegally.80
"Since the peace process began, our top leaders have been
getting wealthier, but there is no clear source oftheir income", said an establishment party leader in Sunsari.81
Bhattarai was accused of stoking factionalism and being
too close to India.82 There is deep suspicion of Bhattarai
in the Prachanda camp, parts of which want him to resign.
However, party unity remains the priority of both leaders
and Prachanda himself ruled out Bhattarai's resignation
until it is clearer whether the assembly is to be revived
after a deal on federalism or whether there will be elections.83 Prachanda has in the past been strongly critical of
India. As a result, he is still viewed by Indian actors with
some suspicion. Yet, the document he presented to guide
party policy was vague on India's role and on the party's
"principal enemy". Identifying an enemy allows the party
to justify tactical and strategic decisions and in the past,
bashing India had been a way of energising cadres. Vice
Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha was concerned about
Prachanda's silence about India's "negative role". Prachanda resisted the pressure to name India, however, and
instead said that "patriots" needed to "unite to safeguard
the national interest".84 On this issue, too, the interests of
Prachanda and Bhattarai are congruent for now.
The debates and concerns raised at the plenum highlight
how far the establishment Maoists have come from their
revolutionary roots. Prachanda and other leaders will keep
trying to reassure cadres, particularly those who have not
yet decided whether to stay or go, that they have not abandoned the transformative agenda. They argued that the split
was unnecessary and undermined gains made through the
peace process and 2008 elections. But the party needs to
be more proactive and, even as it deals with internal fissures, its main concern will be reasserting its ownership
Crisis Group interview, central-level Maoist leader, Kathmandu, April 2012. Numbers are difficult to estimate because
district and state committees have their own organisation. Their
financial and other accounts are not always perfectly integrated
with the central level.
79 For background on perceptions of "integration" see Crisis
Group Report, Nepal: From Two Armies to One, op. cit, p. 10.
See also Section II.B.
80 Former combatants say they each paid Rs.500 to Rs. 1,000
($5.70 to 11.40) every month ostensibly for salaries of members ofthe Young Communist League (YCL). YCL members,
some of whom were former combatants themselves, say they
never saw this money. Grievances about commanders' alleged
corruption were also raised. They are accused of having embezzled about Rs.3 billion (just over $34 million). The growing
wealth of Maoist leaders and the party in general is a matter of
great public interest, as senior leaders are clearly a lot richer
than before. See, for example, Sudheer Sharma, "Maobadi ru-
pantaranko antim gantho", op. cit. Crisis Group telephone interviews, Maoist cadres attending the plenum, Kathmandu, July
2012. Two panels were formed during the July plenum to look
into these matters. One is to investigate financial irregularities
in the cantonments and the other to inspect property and assets
owned by party leaders. "Sudhridbandaiyemaobadi", Samachar,
20 July 2012. Prachanda promised to give up some of his "facilities", as they are called, including a large house he rents in
the heart of downtown Kathmandu. Vice Chairmen Bhattarai
and Shrestha also agreed to disclose their property to the party's "financial committee", when it is formed.
81 Crisis Group interview, Maoist establishment party district
secretary, Sunsari, June 2012.
82 Like the Baidya group, Prachanda's supporters criticised
Bhattarai for signing an investment protection treaty with India
in 2011 and recently for reportedly granting security and management of Kathmandu's notoriously lax international airport
to a private Indian company. It has long been known that Bhattarai is the most acceptable Maoist leader for New Delhi. Prachanda feels he has been victimised as a result.
83 Crisis Group telephone interview, Maoist cabinet minister,
Kathmandu, July 2012. The opposition led by the Congress and
UML, as well as the new Maoist party, also demand Bhattarai's
resignation as the first step to break the deadlock.
84 Maoist party press statement, Kathmandu, 22 July 2012.
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of identity-based federalism.85 This enhances its revolutionary credentials while keeping it firmly at the head of
the constitutional debate. The leadership has announced
the formation of anew Federal Democratic Republican alliance that includes Madhesis, some janajati groups, and
other pro-federalism forces to form an alliance.86 The party is also reaching out to fringe leftist groups and leftist
intellectuals to gain credibility and possibly increase its
electoral support.
The future ofthe assembly - revival or the election of a
new body - will also affect how the shifts in the UCPN-M
play out.
2.    The new factionalism
The establishment party's general convention announced
for early 2013 will exacerbate factionalism, whether or
not it is actually held. Leaders will be pushed to demonstrate commitment and reward cadres. Although the central committee will be disbanded at some point, it has been
entrusted with planning the convention. All factions and
new hopefuls will now be gathering resources and aiming
to expand their influence. Physical clashes between the
Prachanda and Bhattarai groups are not unknown. Other
groups could get into the act now. At the local level, it
could become more difficult than before to separate motivations and the shifting layers of alliances between different Maoist actors in both parties.
Before the split, there were three camps, led by Baidya,
Prachanda and Bhattarai. Membership in factions is fluid.
Even senior members have been known to shift, depending on which leader is in the ascendancy and on personal
relationships. In recent months, a few top-level Prachanda
loyalists have shifted over to Bhattarai, convinced that he
will remain prime minister for some time to come. Vice
Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha "Prakash" has also become assertive and there are again three relatively strong
factions. Ofthe 105 remaining central committee members, Prachanda currently has the support of 55, Bhattarai
of 29 and Shrestha of 21.87
□ Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda": The
end ofthe assembly has taken the shine off Nepal's
only real national leader. Prachanda's role in the party
resembled his position in the peace process at large.
He was able to cross factional divides, provide leadership and enable major decisions. He also nimbly negotiated a power balance that kept him the undisputed
leader ofthe party. But the peace process and the Maoists' entry into the mainstream severely strained his
Within the party, Prachanda's handling of former fighters has left him somewhat weakened. The party has been
remarkably successful at building a strong financial
base; from alleged petty extortion it has moved on to
investing in property and infrastructure. Many leaders
are thought to have similar interests on the side, but
Prachanda is sometimes perceived as having more than
Outside the party, Prachanda promised he could bring
all parties to agree on a constitution. He still remains
the best hope, but the end ofthe assembly has changed
the game. The new constitution was also to introduce
a directly elected president, which Prachanda was sure
to become.89 His next moves could be motivated by a
sense of urgency about reclaiming his authority and
securing his future.
□ Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai: Prime Minister
Bhattarai has fewer loyalists than Prachanda and, in the
undivided party, was also weaker than Baidya in the
district and fraternal organisations. He is not in that
sense a mass leader. Yet he is widely perceived as efficient, intellectual and clean, which makes him a threat
to Prachanda. In his position as prime minister, Bhattarai is also leading the country at a critical time and
his influence and appeal are unlikely to wane significantly. The fact that he no longer depends on Prachanda to stay in power and can work independently after
the dissolution of the assembly could be a source of
tension between the two leaders. Bhattarai's perceived
closeness to New Delhi is, however, a handicap.
Until the parties agree on the way forward, Bhattarai
and Prachanda remain each other's closest allies. Both
Crisis Group interview, Maoist establishment party central
committee leaders and cadres employed at party headquarters,
Kathmandu, July 2012.
86 On 2 July 2012, the Maoist party and the Madhesi Morcha,
an alliance of five Madhesi parties currently in government,
decided to form a broader alliance for identity-based federalism
under Prachanda's leadership. "UCPN (Maoist), UDMF to form
federalist alliance", Republica, 3 July 2012. However, attempts
to reach out to Congress and UML leaders have proved unsuccessful so far.
87 Crisis Group interviews, journalists and party central committee leaders, Kathmandu, July 2012.
88 Crisis Group interview, Maoist establishment party politburo
member, Kathmandu, June 2012. See also "UCPN(M) commission starts property probe", The Kathmandu Post, 27 July 2012.
The Maoist party does not have a finance department and final
responsibility lies with Prachanda, which makes him an easy
target for accusations of impropriety.
89 For background on constitutional debates about the form of
governance and the semi-presidential compromise adopted, see
Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Peace Process: The Endgame
Nears, op. cit, p. 7.
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believe in the current process and complement each
other - Prachanda's charisma, negotiating skills and
organisation together with Bhattarai's pragmatism and
cleaner public image make a compelling team.90 However, these very attributes also make them bitter competitors and the rivalry will resurface.91
□ Narayan Kaji Shrestha "Prakash": Shrestha, whose
party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unity Centre-
Masai) only merged with the Maoist party in 2009, was
initially a Prachanda loyalist.92 Overtime, he has come
into his own. In 2011, Bhattarai, Baidya and Shrestha
briefly joined forces to curb Prachanda's powers.93
Shrestha, who is deputy prime minister, also asserted
himself at the luly 2012 plenum, albeit mildly. He is
not necessarily a game changer and does not yet have
a significant influence on party policy. Still, together
with Bhattarai he could resist attempts by Prachanda
to dislodge the government, or he could team up with
Prachanda to isolate Bhattarai.
The strong anti-establishment wave running through the
party threatens all leaders. "We are not sure the party can
extricate itself from dirty bourgeois politics. But the plenum taught leaders that they cannot keep lying to cadres",
a party member attending the plenum said.94 Individual
integrity - or at least the perception that some share their
spoils more fairly than others - is likely to become a significant factor in factional politics.
The Nepali Congress is the country's oldest democratic
party. In the 1990s, Nepal's first decade of proper multiparty politics, the Congress and its powerful president,
the late Girija Prasad Koirala, dominated Nepali politics.
For much ofthe decade-long Maoist insurgency that began in 1996, the party was against making any concessions to the rebels. As the war intensified, so did then-
King Gyanendra's ambitions to rule directly. This put the
Koirala faction in conflict with the palace and eventually
led to the Congress's alliance with other parliamentary
parties and the Maoists in 2005 to oppose the king's coup
that year. Another faction also led by a former prime minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, split off and largely did the
bidding ofthe king. The parties merged again after the
peace process began. However, factionalism driven by
personality clashes and by differing attitudes to the peace
process and the Maoists persisted. Now, with the narrowing ofthe Congress's political space and its leaders' deep
scepticism about federalism, ideological divides have mostly given way to fights about party positions.
The UML's present rightward shift is an extension of its
attitude during much ofthe war, King Gyanendra's takeover in 2005 and the peace process: a combination of general conservatism with occasional nods to its own revolutionary past. The party led a strongly anti-Maoist government in 2009 and 2010 and its former general secretary,
Madhav Kumar Nepal, also expressed interest in being
the king's prime minister in 2003. But at rallies and public meetings, the party still presents itself as the core of
Nepal's communist movement. The UML lost a significant chunk of its support base to the Maoists and, like representatives of other parties, its members in districts were
also specifically targeted by Maoists during the war. As
strongly as sections ofthe party are driven by that animosity, individual ambitions and factions are also powerful
factors that determine decision-making in the party.
Mumaram Khanal, "Tyasaile Prachanda ra Baburam milna
sakdainan", Nepal, 20 June 2010.
91 Crisis Group interview, Maoist establishment party central
committee member, Kathmandu, June 2012. For more on Prachanda' s preference for reviving the assembly and his preferred
sequencing of agreement on federalism before revival, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Constitution (I), op. cit, Sectionlll.B.
92 For more on the unification, see Crisis Group Asia Report
NT56, Nepal'sNew PoliticalLandscape, 3 July 2008, Sectionll.C.
93 See Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Peace Process: The Endgame Nears, op. cit, Section VIA for more on the Dhobighat
pact, as the short-lived July 2011 agreement was called.
94 Crisis Group telephone interview, Kathmandu, July 2012.
The choices for the Nepali Congress are limited. The
country's political centre needs to be occupied again, and
the party is best placed to do so. This would benefit Nepali politics as well as revive the Congress's fortunes. The
party should, ideally, revisit its position on federalism to
avoid being branded as representing only "anti-federalists"
and the upper castes. "There was no debate in the party on
federalism. We did not really discuss it", a senior Congress
leader said.95 The party initially criticised the announce-
Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, June 2012. He also said,
"The UML started talking to its janajatis immediately after the
assembly ended. It is taking us a long time".
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ment of fresh elections as unconstitutional and unlawful,
but has since said it favours polls, but for a legislative
parliament that could also function as a Constituent Assembly. This position is likely to change again, depending
on the state of negotiations with the Maoists, since the
Congress's priority appears to be resignation ofthe present government, rather than renewing discussions on the
Some janajati members, long thought compliant with the
party's resistance to identity politics, have threatened to
leave the party.96 Others want discussions about federalism, if only to explain where they stand to their constituents.97 Many senior Madhesi leaders and mid-level party
workers left the Congress after the 2007 Madhes Andolan
put ethnicity at the centre of politics in the Tarai.98 Those
who stayed have felt constrained by the party leadership's
denial of identity as a valid basis for federalism. A senior
leader who lost his central party position in the 2010 Congress elections attributes his loss in part to his perceived
flexibility on identity issues.99
96 "Congress janajati leaders threaten to quit party", The Kathmandu Post, 7 June 2012. The party's central working committee formed a committee on 21 June 2012 to address its janajati
leaders' concerns, but this has not inspired confidence. A prominent Congress janajati leader said, "party leaders always react
positively [to our demands], but when it comes to implementation, they do nothing". He also noted that a Congress-led protest
against the government soon after the assembly ended included
staunchly anti-federalist parties. Crisis Group telephone interview, Congressjanajati leader, Kathmandu, June 2012. Congress
leaders who were active members of the janajati caucus in the
assembly were also present when the influential organisation,
the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), announced that it would form a new janajati AeA party (see Section IVA). "Dal kholdai janajati!", Kantipur, 7 July 2012.
97 A veteran Congress janajati leader said he could not ask the
public to vote for him again after having "failed them for four
years". Crisis Group telephone interview, Congress janajati
leader, Kathmandu, June 2012.
98 Some leaders joined the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, which
had spearheaded the Madhes Movement, others started their
own parties. The Congress had traditionally viewed the Tarai as
its base. In the 2008 election, it won only seventeen of 129 directly elected seats in the inner and outer Tarai districts. Final
election results are available at:
CAResults/reportBody.php. For more on the Madhes movement and its electoral impact, see Crisis Group Asia Report
N°136, Nepal's Troubled Tarai Region, 9 July 2007, Section
IV and Crisis Group Report, Nepal's New Political Landscape,
op. cit, pp. 7-11.
99 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, June 2012. Sympathetic
Congress members who talk about identity and ethnicity often
speak in euphemisms. It is unclear whether this is because the
environment in the party has been so hostile to them or because,
in the absence of a nuanced party position, direct speaking is
avoided because it echoes the Maoist and ethnic activist agenda.
The relevance ofthe Congress as a major national party
with compelling democratic credentials is likely to decline.
Even if it adds nuance to its position on the place of identity in the new federal structure, it is unlikely to win back
supporters it has alienated. "Regional and ethnic parties
will emerge. People will not care about party alliances in
elections, but about regional and ethnic issues and leaders
who have spoken against identity issues will lose", a national-level Congress janajati leader said.100
The party has benefited from the backlash against federalism among sections ofthe upper castes and classes and the
national media. But catering to groups with reservations
about federalism will be complicated. Opinion-making
circles and significant parts of the national media seem
alienated from the social aspects ofthe political demand
for federalism. The Congress draws much of its energy and
legitimacy from this small, albeit loud, group. In doing
so, the Congress runs the risk of speaking in an echo chamber, listening only to those who agree with it. Among more
elite anti-federalists, the party will have to tread a tricky
path. At one end ofthe anti-federalism spectrum is scepticism about all other recent changes, including secularism
and the republic. Yet not all people dubious of federalism
are terribly exercised about the loss ofthe Hindu state or
the monarchy.101
Ifthe Congress plays upper-caste politics, it could also run
up against the limits of lumping Brahmins and Chhetris,
the two highest caste groups, together. There are real differences between the communities in terms oftheir inclusion in state and other institutions and they also have a
degree of mutual mistrust. More significantly, there is a
sense among mid-level Chhetri members that the Congress
decision-making stratum is Brahmin-dominated.102
Crisis Group telephone interview, Congress janajati leader,
Kathmandu, June 2012.
101 For long, the Congress supported a constitutional monarchy
and some leaders are still sympathetic, although they have been
largely marginalised by the peace process. In March 2010, Congress leader Khum Bahadur Khadka made a public appearance
with former King Gyanendra Shah and spoke in favour of a
Hindu state. "Ex-king at ritual for Hindu state", The Kathmandu Post, 9 March 2010. But the mainstream Congress leaders
realise that it is a deeply damaging and losing proposition to
even appear sympathetic to the monarchy.
102 The 2010 Congress general convention adopted quotas for
elections to its central working committee. 22 of its 64 elected
seats were reserved for women, indigenous nationalities, Dalits,
Madhesis and Muslims. But like almost every other party, its
office bearers and other policy-level leaders are largely, though
not exclusively, Brahmin. "NC plenum message: Unity essential", The Kathmandu Post, 28 September 2010. From 1990 to
2002, average Brahmin representation in parliament was 39 per
cent. According to the 2001 census, Brahmins constituted only
12.74 per cent ofthe total population. Chhetri representation in
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The Congress's single-minded focus on taking charge of
the government before the next election is rooted in both
its fear that it will do badly without this extra advantage,
and because it has serious financial problems. "We want
to organise district programs, but there is not enough cash",
a district-level Congress leader said.103 Individual leaders
are said to have the resources to run a campaign, but not
the party as a whole. Its organisation is also in some disarray; communication is legendarily poor between the party
headquarters, too busy sorting out its factional struggles,
and the districts.104
At the central level, the Congress is as fragmented as ever.
The actions of many senior leaders seem motivated by
personal ambitions or fears. Weak leadership, turf wars
and personality clashes mean it is now every man for himself. Even if the Congress were offered leadership of a
unity government, a fight would break out over who the
party's nominee for prime minister should be.105
The Congress will remain home to old-school "democrats", as long-time supporters call themselves. The party
genuinely believes it will recover some ofthe ground it
lost in 2008. "The Maoists have been weakened. The
UML is struggling with internal disputes. Ethnic groups
are not that strong. If elections happen soon, the Congress
will win", a leader in Dhankuta said.106 A few central
leaders also judge that they will regain some ofthe Tarai,
as difficult as it is to see the Madhesi dynamic changing
back in favour of any ofthe traditional parties. But re-
the same period was 19.6 per cent while they comprised 15.8
per cent ofthe total population in the 2001 census. Mahendra
Lawoti, "Informal Institutions and Exclusion in Democratic
Nepal", Himalaya, vol. 28, no. 1 and 2 (2010), p. 24; "Rastriya
Janaganana, 2058 (Jaat/Jaatiko Janasankhya)", Central Bureau
of Statistics, January 2008. On Brahmin and Chhetri poverty
levels, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal: Identity Politics and
Federalism, op. cit, p. 3.
103 Crisis Group interview, Congress district leader, Banke, April
2012. Banke is home to Congress President Sushil Koirala.
Other district- and national-level leaders echo this.
104 Crisis Group interviews, senior Congress leader, June 2012;
district-level Congress leaders, Nepalgunj, April 2012 and Kathmandu, June 2012. The party is finally bringing together district-level officials. "Kangres sabhapatiko bheladvara 14 bunde
prastav parif', Naya Patrika, 1 August 2012; "NC to provide
training to district secretaries", Republica, 17 July 2012. Crisis
Group often hears from district offices that little information
comes their way about their party's plans.
105 See Crisis Group Briefings, Nepal's Peace Process: The Endgame Nears, op. cit, p. 11, and Nepal's Fitful Peace Process,
op. cit. The Congress has been described by some as a party of
"democrats who don't believe in elections", as it opposed voting on contentious issues in the Constituent Assembly and initially denounced the announcement of elections to a new assembly.
106 Crisis Group interview, Congress leader, Dhankuta, June 2012.
building or rebranding the Congress is not possible unless
the leadership comes out of its policy drift, endless posturing and internecine feuding.
B.   UML
The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist),
or UML, was the third largest party in the last assembly.
It is also facing identity and ideological crises, in addition
to constant personality-based factionalism in the background. The hostility of senior leaders to ethnic federalism has alienated even some ofthe party's most fervent
janajati members. They accuse the UML of "sabotaging"
federalism and being the primary reason for the assembly's lapse on 27 May 2012.107 Until then, many ethnic
members had believed that the party would come around
on identity issues.108 For now, the party leadership has
settled on elections as the best option, but the basis for
that decision is unclear. UML janajati leaders have supported revival ofthe last assembly.109
Some janajati leaders threatened to leave the UML after
the assembly ceased to exist. "If the party does not pay
attention to our issues, we will be compelled to look for
options", one of them said.110 Another senior UML jana-
Crisis Group telephone interview, UML janajati leader,
Kathmandu, May 2012. ThiraL. Bhusal, "Ethnic dissent in UML
at boiling point", Republica, 2 June 2012. The most energetic
members of the cross-party janajati caucus in the assembly,
including its chair, were from the UML.
108 For example, in February 2012, the UML's federal affairs
department wrote a report on state restructuring that proposed
two models; one with eight states and the other with twelve.
The states were based on "identity and capacity". Identity was
defined broadly to include ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity, as well as habitat, geography and environment. Capacity was
understood to mean the ability of a state to sustain itself financially. "Rajya puna: samrachanasambandhiprativedan-2068",
UML Federal Affairs Department, February 2012. This was
largely congruent with the criteria for state formation identified
by the State Restructuring Commission mandated by the interim constitution and the state restructuring thematic committee
under the Constituent Assembly. For more, see Section III.B;
Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Constitution (I), op. cit, Section
II.A.2 and Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Peace Process: The
Endgame Nears, op. cit. As recently as March 2012, a UML
janajati leader was hopeful that the party was committed to
identity-based demands. Crisis Group interview, UMLjanajati
leader, Kathmandu, March 2012. For background on the
UML's positions on federalism and identity, see Crisis Group
Report, Nepal: Identity Politics and Federalism, op. cit, p. 10.
109 On 18 July 2012, the UML's standing committee decided to
support elections, just weeks after having called the idea "undemocratic". "UML opts for fresh mandate amid CA rebirth
demands", The Kathmandu Post, 19 July 2012.
110 Crisis Group telephone interview, UML janajati leader,
Kathmandu, July 2012. Politburo member Vijay Subba, for ex-
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jati leader said he and his colleagues would not leave, but
try to resolve differences within the party.111 Many have
been punished for raising the issue of recognition of identity and relieved of their party responsibilities.112 "Today
they have taken away our responsibilities. Tomorrow, they
may remove us from the party altogether. But for now,
we are still continuing the internal struggle in the party",
said a senior janajati leader who was among those disciplined.113 Other janajati leaders are growing impatient.114
The top leadership is deeply uncomfortable with identity
politics and the argument that there is structural discrimination in Nepal. Positions have hardened significantly
since the end ofthe assembly against any acknowledgment
of ethnicity.115 "Our party will not be affected ii janajati
ample, said he could not stay in the party as it did not stand for
indigenous issues. "Emalemabasna nasakne bhaye", Nagarik,
31 May 2012. Former UML assembly member Pasang Sherpa
also left for the same reason. "Yaskaran maile emale chaade",
Naya Patrika, 29 May 2012.
111 Crisis Group telephone interview, UML janajati leader,
Kathmandu, July 2012.
112 On 12 June 2012, UML dissenting ethnic senior members led
by party Vice Chairman Ashok Rai asked the party that state
restructuring be based on the reports ofthe Constituent Assembly state restructuring committee and the State Restructuring
Commission. The following month, he and other janajati leaders were disciplined. Rai was dismissed as coordinator of the
party's sister organisations. Prithvi Subba Gurung, who led the
janajati caucus in the assembly, was relieved of his leadership
of the UML's Democratic Indigenous Federation. "Janajati
UML leaders stripped of responsibilities", Republica, 20 July
2012. Earlier, on 10 June, the UML had dismissed an ethnic
leader from his position as head of Kathmandu Valley and on 16
June, had expelled another one for demanding identity-based
federalism. "UML removes Rajendra Shrestha as Valley chief,
Republica, 11 June 2012; "Sherpa's expulsion stirs up a hornets' nest in CPN-UML", The Kathmandu Post, 17 June 2012.
113 Crisis Group telephone interview, UML janajati leader,
Kathmandu, July 2012.
114 "Emale nafutaye asantushtanai futne", Sanghu, 23 July
2012; "Aba thos nirnayama pugchaun", Naya Patrika, 20 July
2012. Some UML janajati leaders have even threatened to take
up arms. "Disgruntled UML leaders threaten to take up arms",
The Kathmandu Post, 25 July 2012.
115 Soon after the assembly ended, on 2 June, the politburo announced a "high-level commission" to collect cadres' views on
federalism. "UML tries to woo Janajati leaders", The Kathmandu Post, 31 May 2012 and "UML forms high-level commission
on federalism", Republica, 3 June 2012. But by 22 June, the
party's central committee had rejected "single identity" states
and endorsed an undiscussed federal model that proposed "mixed-
identity" names. Some top UML leaders soon began demanding that the new states' names have no reference to identity at
all. "CPN-UML passes 7-province model amid sharp dissent",
Republica, 24 June 2012. UML leaders had been in the cross-
party group of senior politicians who had floated a controversial deal on federalism in mid-May. The proposal had never
leaders leave. Others will step in for them", said a leader
in Dhankuta.116 Common criticisms are that ethnic and
identity-based movements were manufactured by European donor agencies or that federalism is a purely Maoist
Janajati leaders and activists, some affiliated with the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) have
proposed a new party to represent janajatis and other marginalised groups (see Section IVA below). The UML's
ethnic members are divided on the sustainability of such a
party, but say that it is a very public way to put pressure on
mainstream ethnic leaders.118 Some UML janajati leaders
have been considering an alliance with the establishment
Maoist party, and overtime could join it.119 They are also
considering forming a separate party, but one that would
have a broader remit than only ethnic politics, unlike the
newly created janajati Aed party.
The UML has ignored its ethnic constituency previously
and this is not the first time it has lost out to the Maoists
on ethnic issues. The UML reached out to janajati groups
before the restoration of democracy, though leaders are
frank that this was primarily to enlarge their support base,
rather than out of any sympathy for ethnic issues.120 The
UML's platform in 1991, during the first democratic elections in 32 years, promised representation for janajatis in
state institutions, mother tongue education, promotion of
cultures, and a secular state, among other things. After that,
though, the party only reinforced ja^faHs' experience of
been tabled in the assembly and was soundly rejected by members of most parties as well as other identity-based groups
through street protests and shutdowns. See Crisis Group Report,
Nepal's Constitution (I), op. cit, Sections II.A. 1 and II.
116 Crisis Group interview, UML leader, Dhankuta, June 2012.
117 Crisis Group interviews, UML leaders, Kathmandu, May-
June 2012.
118 Crisis Group telephone interview, UML janajati leader,
Kathmandu, July 2012. However, even after NEFIN's July announcement of a new party, former UML Prime Minister Madhav
Kumar Nepal dismissed the possibility of disgruntled ethnic
leaders leaving. "Parti chhadera kohi jandaina", Kantipur, 7 July
1:9 Crisis Group telephone interview, Maoist establishment party politburo member, Kathmandu, July 2012. However, Vice
Chairman Rai has ruled out the possibility of joining the Maoist
party. '"Maovadima chahi kunai halatmajanna'", Kantipur, 8
July 2012. On 3 July, a group of activists andjanajati and
Madhesi leaders from several parties including the UML and
the Congress were invited by Prime Minister Bhattarai to discuss the formation of a pro-federalism alliance. "But we told
him there is no need for such an alliance. We are still in our
party and continuing our own internal struggle for federalism",
said a senior UML janajati leader who took part in the meeting.
Crisis Group telephone interview, UML janajati leader, Kathmandu, July 2012. For more, see Section II.C.2.
120 Crisis Group interview, UML official, Kathmandu, July 2012.
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the state and politics as overly upper-caste and Hindu, even
Brahminical, including by introducing Sanskrit news broadcasts on the state-owned national radio station and ignoring secularism entirely.121
The UML appeared to return to a pro-janajati agenda during the peace process. In 2006, when the Maoists came
aboveground to join the process, it was apparent they
would continue to mobilise around identity-based issues.
The CPA also committed to a broad range of social and
other transformations including to address socio-political
exclusion and marginalisation. The UML jumped on the
bandwagon, for fear of losing out to the Maoists. In August
2006, the party endorsed regional and ethnic autonomy.
Its 2008 election manifesto promised federalism based on
"identity and capability". It also endorsed the International
Labour Organization's convention 169, which concerns
protection of indigenous and tribal rights and support of
indigenous cultures, including through the right to self-
determination. In 2009, in the assembly's committee on
state restructuring, the party suggested fifteen states, most
of which were "single-identity" states and would be identified with the homelands of particular ethnic groups.122
But it became increasingly apparent in 2011 and during
negotiations earlier in 2012 that these were false promises
and that the hostility of many in the UML to identity politics had deepened.123
See "Party onaverge", The Kathmandu Post, 22 June 2012.
The decision to introduce Sanskrit news broadcasts on Radio
Nepal was taken by the UML led-minority government in power from November 1994 to September 1995. T. Louise Brown,
The Challenge to Democracy in Nepal: A Political History
(London, 1996), p. 224. Sanskrit is closely associated with a
Brahmin-dominated conception of hierarchical Hinduism. The
use of Sanskritised Nepali in civil service examinations is also
thought to put non-upper castes and non-native speakers of Nepali at a disadvantage. For the janajati movement, secularism is
a crucial step in allowing ethnic groups to reclaim non-Hindu
or syncretic religious traditions.
122 Vice Chairman Rai explains the UML's engagement with
identity issues in"Bartamanparisthitima hamro mat", political
document submitted to the UML party central office, 12 June
2012. The implementation of ILO 169 is a central part ofthe
janajati agenda. In September 2007, Nepal became the first
South Asian country to ratify the convention, but an implementation plan has been stuck at the cabinet level since September
2008. "ILO 169: Nepal as a model", Nepali Times, 18-24 February 2011.
123 An array of UML leaders have spoken against federalism
based on identity, arguing that it could incite communal tensions or weaken Nepal. See, for example, "Govt hatching conspiracy to retain power: Oli", The Himalayan Times online edition, 7 April 2012 and "UML will not accept ethnic federalism", The Kathmandu Post, 19 December 2011. For more see
Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Constitution (I), op. cit, Section
Until now, this flip-flopping has not seriously harmed the
party organisation. The UML's janajati leaders have also
been sceptical about giving up the advantages of membership in a large party for an uncertain future. But many
recognise that there has been a fundamental shift towards
identity politics in Nepal and that their party's position
could now be a personal liability. Some will leave the
UML, most likely before the next election.124 The leadership shows every sign of sticking to its hard anti-identity
positions and seems ready to jettison vocal ethnic members, rather than reach out to the public with more subtle
The Madhesis are caste Hindus from the Tarai plains who
often have extensive familial and cultural ties across the
border in India. The two Madhesi fronts, the Samyukta
Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM or Madhesi Morcha)
and the Brihat Madhesi Morcha (BMM, or Broader Morcha), are both coalitions of several smaller parties.
Like the establishment Maoists, the Madhesi parties are
by and large ready for either elections or a revival ofthe
assembly. However, the relative strength ofthe two Madhesi fronts could be affected by the decision. Madhesi
parties in the ruling coalition could calculate that anti-
establishment sentiment is a greater vote winner in Madhesi constituencies and leave. Splits in all Madhesi parties
could also contribute to a rebalancing between Madhesi
Until recently, the SLMM contained most Madhesi parties. It is a partner in government and was a strong ally of
the Maoists and the janajati caucus in the federalism negotiations. Its rival, the Broader Morcha is much smaller,
but has reasonable grassroots appeal and is gaining strength
and influence. The Broader Morcha has been closer to the
dissident Maoists and aims to be an alliance of more than
Crisis Group interview, journalist, Kathmandu, July 2012.
The UML's resistance to ethnic issues has pushed members to
leave earlier too. Gore Bahadur Khapangi, who headed the
UML-affiliated Teachers' Union, left to set up an ethnic party
in the post-1990 democratic dispensation. He joined King Gyanendra's cabinet in 2002 and is a marginal figure now. See Crisis Group Report, Nepal: Identity Politics and Federalism, op.
cit, pp. 10-11.
125 By an estimate, there are now fourteen Madhesi parties, compared with four at the time ofthe 2008 elections. "Madhesi dal
6 thiye, 17 puge", Kantipur, 11 June 2012. For more on the different Madhesi parties, see Crisis Group Reports, Nepal's
Troubled Tarai Region, op. cit. andNepal 'sNew Political Landscape, op. cit, p. 10; andNepal's Constitution (I), op. cit, Section III.E; as well as Crisis Group Briefings, Nepal's Fitful
Peace Process, op. cit, p. 13 and Nepal's Peace Process: The
Endgame Nears, op. cit, p. 12.
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only Madhesi parties. It currently includes three Madhesi
and four non-Madhesi parties.126 Before the assembly
ended, the Broader Morcha had reiterated the original Mad-
hesi demand for a single Madhes state from east to west,
although major Madhesi actors had for some time accepted two states.127 The Broader Morcha, headed by Upendra
Yadav, also sided with the Congress and UML to dismiss
the elections announced for November 2012 as unconstitutional. Both decisions were driven as much by the need
to counter the ruling SLMM as by conviction.
Two Madhesi parties belonging to the Madhesi Morcha
coalition split after the assembly ended, the Madhesi la-
nadhikar Forum (Ganatantrik) or MIF(G) and the Madhesi
lanadhikar Forum (Loktantrik) or MIF(L). MIF(G) split
on 1 luly, when a faction of its central committee dismissed
the party's acting chairperson, also the information minister in the current government. The factions disagree about
who represents the "real" party and are threatening each
other with mutual expulsion.128
Earlier, on 5 lune, the MIF(L), the largest Madhesi party at
the time, expelled a senior leader, Sharat Singh Bhandari.
Bhandari had disagreed with the call for fresh elections
and, before the assembly ended, had been involved in the
Broader Morcha.: 29 He formed the Rastriya Madhes Samaj -
The Madhesi Morcha, when it joined the government in August 2011, contained five of nine Madhesi parties. Six Madhesi
parties are affiliated with neither the Madhesi Morcha nor the
Broader Morcha. "Madhesi dal 6 thiye, 17 puge", op. cit. "Mohan Baidya supported our [BMM's] protests in May in a big
way and we could form an alliance with them", said a leader of
the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Nepal), orMJF(N), in Saptari.
Crisis Group interview, MJF(N) leader, Saptari, June 2012.
Another MJF(N) leader said Baidya's party needs to come up
with a clear policy first but that he was open to an alliance with
the new Maoists. Crisis Group telephone interview, former
MJF(N) assembly member, Kathmandu, July 2012. See also
Section II.B.l above.
127 For more on Madhesi parties' positions on the number of
states in the Tarai and their original "one Madhes state" demand,
see Crisis Group Report, Nepal: Identity Politics and Federalism, op. cit, p. 17.
128 Crisis Group telephone interview, MJF(G) leader, Kathmandu, July 2012. "Yadav urges EC not to legitimize his dismissal", Republica, 4 July 2012. "Forum ganatantrikko vistarit baithak: Sansthapak adhyaksha guptasanga sambandhavichhed",
Annapurna Post, 27 July 2012.
129 "MJF-L gives Bhandari the walking ticket", The Kathmandu
Post, 6 June 2012 and "Sarat Singh forms new party", The Kathmandu Post, 28 June 2012. After Bhandari was expelled, several MJF(L)'s central committee members also resigned, accusing party Chairman and Home MinisterBijay Kumar Gachhadar
of abandoning Madhesi issues. "Nettled, 9 leaders walk out on
MJF-L", The Kathmandu Post, 11 June 2012. This group forms
the core of Bhandari's new party. "Bhandari announces new
Terai-centric party",, 28 June 2012. The MJF(N)
claims Bhandari is still a member of the Broader Madhesi
badi Party some weeks later. The MIF(L) has stayed in
the ruling Madhesi Morcha.
Bhandari, a former Congress leader who is of hill and not
Madhesi origin, has taken a strong pro-Madhes stance in
the past year, including supporting recruitment of Madhesi
youth into the army. Now, his party is holding fast those
positions but also reserve positions in its own organisation
for non-Madhesis.130 This move echoes steps bythe Broader Morcha and other Madhesi parties to become more national, if not more inclusive. For example, establishment
Madhesi parties such as the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party
(TMLP) have set up branches in unlikely mountain districts such as Mugu and lumla.131 At its general convention
in lanakpur in May, Sadbhavana Party, the oldest Madhesi
party, spoke for other marginalised groups too and addressed its (admittedly few) janajati supporters present.132
There are many persistent reasons for the splits and realignments in the Madhesi parties.133 Yet, the leaders and
activists have a common cause and are driven by the certainty of powerful social backing forthe Madhesi agenda.
This means that, as a bloc, the two fronts and various Madhesi parties will eventually act in similar ways when it comes
to supporting federalism, whatever choices they make about
partners for electoral or government alliances.134
Madhesi influence has become a stable fact of national
politics. It is now becoming more differentiated internally.
Caste politics plays a significant role. For example, many
leaders and activists are from the middle Yadav caste, but
the Madhesi caste and religious landscape is extremely
diverse and stratified. Some politicians readily admit that
support for various Madhesi parties or leaders is going to
Front. Crisis Group telephone interview, former MJF(N) assembly member, op. cit.
130 "Madhesi dalmapahadelai arakshan", Naya Patrika, 24 July
131 "Madhesi parties reaching out to Pahadi people", TheKath-
mandu Post, 22 July 2012.
132 Crisis Group observed Sadbhavana Party' s convention on 5
May in Janakpur.
133 For a useful analysis, see "Why Madhesi parties split", Republica, 9 June 2012 and "The great Madhesi mushrooming",
The Kathmandu Post, 20 July 2011.
134 In July, the TMLP, one ofthe members ofthe Madhesi Morcha, proposed the formation of a single, united Madhesi party
in time for the next elections. This attempt could gain some
momentum and would be useful to build a stronger organisation than any ofthe small parties has. However, it is more likely that some Madhesi actors will continue to seek alliances instead, given the numerous tensions and contradictions between
their parties and personality clashes. See, for example, "TMDP
in talks for a single Madhesi party", Republica, 3 August 2012
and "Idea of one party in Madhes draws mixed reactions", The
Kathmandu Post, 8 July 2012.
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be increasingly determined by caste.135 Some supporters
are also seeking a clearer agenda from parties within the
ambit of broader Madhesi politics or are concerned that
patronage and corruption are distracting leaders from being more broadly responsive to constituents.
Upendra Yadav ofthe Madhesi lanadhikar Forum (Nepal) has been a lone player in recent years. He has been a
Madhesi activist for longer than many senior Madhesi politicians and headed the original Madhesi lanadhikar Forum,
which has split many times since.136 Yadav has spent the
past year travelling around the country and strengthening
his grassroots network.137 He is also perceived as having
integrity and thought to have distanced himself from the
Indian establishment, which in turn cast him off for not
being pliant enough.
Any decision on federalism needs his buy-in and he needs
to be part of further discussion on whether to revive the
assembly or have a new election, because of his ability to
mobilise and his alliance with some janajatis. He is also
becoming a more prominent Madhesi figure as some
Madhesi parties are joining him, which increases his viability as a challenger to the Madhesi Morcha. Continued
splits in the parties or realignments in the Madhesi Morcha, with some parties leaving it to join his alliance, could
allow him once again to become a player in the numbers
game of national politics.
referendum on republicanism, secularism and federalism.138
The chances of rehabilitating the royal family or reviving
the 1990 constitution, under which Nepal was a constitutional Hindu monarchy, are very slim. After the assembly
ended, the former king, Gyanendra Shah, said that he would
only return to public life "as king".139 The reaction ofthe
other parties and a largely negative, irritated public response made it clear that there is little popular support for
However, support for the RPP(N) does not depend on
whether the king' s return is a realistic prospect, but more on
the party's ability to capitalise on pervasive fears among
the elite and upper castes about federalism and secularism, the traditional parties' inability to set the agenda, and
the perceived failure of the Constituent Assembly. For
some supporters, political Hinduism could provide a way
to engage with politics and resist the proposed changes in
many ways, including street and electoral politics.
The RPP(N) commands some support from radical Hindu
groups, though it is unclear whether this translates into
resources or assistance in mobilisation. The party believes
the monarchy's appeal goes beyond a single section of
the traditional elite. 'We are getting support iromjanaja-
tis. After all, there was no ethnic or communal tension before federalism and secularism [were on the agenda]", said
Conservative parties were close to the monarchy and have
been of marginal importance since 2008, after Nepal went
from being a Hindu republic to a secular republic. Only
one of these parties, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Nepal), or RPP(N), has a coherent political platform. It is
clearly monarchist, rather than only royalist, and wants a
Crisis Group interviews, senior Morcha members from
TMLP and Sadbhavana Party, Kathmandu, May-June 2012; district-level activists of Madhesi Morcha parties, Janakpur, May
2012. A prominent member of Upendra Yadav' s MJF(N) said,
"[Madhesi] Brahmins can vote forthe TMLP, Yadavs will come
to us and some others. Everyone will have their choice. But
Madhesis will vote for Madhesi parties". Crisis Group interview,
Kathmandu, June 2012. TMLP is led by the widely respected
politician Mahanta Thakur and was one of the parties formed
when the Congress lost its Madhesi leadership after the Madhes
movement. Despite the apparently upper-caste appeal of his
party, Thakur himself is sometimes suggested as a presidential
or prime ministerial candidate.
136 Yadav started the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum as an NGO in
137 Crisis Group interview, senior MJF(N) member, Kathmandu,
June 2012; MJF(N) leader, Saptari, June 2012.
RPP(N) leader Kamal Thapa has said that if there can be no
new constitution then the 1990 constitution must be revived
and that his party can only hold a pro-royalist position as long
as there is no constitution. See Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's
Peace Process: The Endgame Nears, op. cit, p. 13. At a rally
in June 2012, Thapa said the coming elections "will bring the
king back from Nagarjuna [the king's present residence in the
hills above Kathmandu] to Narayanhiti [his old palace in the
middle ofthe city]". If there were no elections, he said, people
would take to the streets to revive the 1990 constitution. Makar
Shrestha, "Raja ra 047 saalko samvidhan farkaunchaun", Kantipur, 10 June 2012.
139 "Aaye rajakai bhumikama: Gyanendra", Rajdhani, 4 July
2012. This was the former king's first overt statement of his
desire to return. Until this, he had contented himself with snide
comments about the performance of parties and politicians.
"Nationality, peace, democracy in jeopardy: Ex-king", The
Himalayan Times online edition, 1 March2012. Duringthe last
hours of the assembly on 27 May, an apparently official website for the former royal family went live, listing all living
members ofthe family and their official (former) titles. It also
has messages to supporters purportedly from Gyanendra Shah
himself. It can be viewed at:
140 A slew of opinion pieces appeared in the Nepali media soon
after Shah's statement, saying he was out of touch with political realities and suggesting that he was discredited. See, for example, Narayan Manandhar, "Wishful thinking, Gyanendra",
The Kathmandu Post, 15 July 2012 and Madhav Dhungel,
"Purva rajako gaddinasina sapana", Nagarik, 8 July 2012.
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a Ihapa-based RPP(N) leader.141 However, it is unlikely
that vocal janajati and other groups are interested in the
old-school paternalism and assimilationist pressures that
the old order symbolises to them.
The RPP(N) won only four seats in the last assembly, but
has welcomed the planned elections. The party believes it
can ride on a wave of disillusionment with mainstream
politicians and anxieties about the changes inNepal. Like
the new Maoist party, it taps into nationalist anger at a
perceived increase in Indian influence. Like the UML and
Congress, it is also suspicious that Western donors interfere in favour of ethnic politics. In recent months the party has made a relatively successful claim to be considered
a national entity representing or echoing a coherent minority political position.142 The other parties should consider
the RPP(N) a player, albeit a small one.
In addition to the RPP(N), there are two other descendants ofthe formerly monarchist Rastriya Prajatantra Party: the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and the Rastriya
lanashakti Party (RIP).143 These two parties have been
attempting to reunite for some time, but have been hobbled by disagreements at the district level, factionalism
and competition between their respective leaderships. Both
parties accept that Nepal should remain a republic.144 How-
Crisis Group interview, RPP(N) leader, Jhapa, June 2012.
142 The RPP(N) has held a series of rallies across the country in
2012. The number of public meetings has perhaps less to do
with broad support for the party than its doggedness and apparently bottomless wallet. In April, Crisis Group saw pains being
taken for a public meeting in Pyuthan district that, all told,
about 250 people attended. Some ofthe participants were local
Maoists curious to see what a monarchist expected to gain in
the home district of Mohan Baidya and other communist notables. The party's post-27 May rally in Kathmandu on 9 June was
noticeably better attended than the one held by 27 opposition
parties including the Congress and the UML a day earlier. Of
the post-assembly public gatherings in Kathmandu, the pro-
federalism rally held by the Maoists that included Madhesi and
janajati activists was the largest. The capital is not a barometer
of what the rest ofthe country is thinking, however. In addition,
the organisational power of some actors and novelty value of
others also determines attendance at public meetings. Rallies
alone cannot be taken as indicative of broad support or electoral
143 Major players in the constitutional monarchy, the RPP and
the RJP only won eight and three seats of 575 respectively in
the 2008 election, all via proportional representation.
144 The RJP and RPP(N) both split from the RPP, in 2005 and
2008 respectively. See Crisis Group Briefings, Nepal's Peace
Process: The Endgame Nears, and Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, both op. cit. Before the 2008 election, the RPP and RJP
both adopted republicanism and, up to a point, federalism. The
RJP proposed an ethnic-based upper house, which had whiffs
ofthe cosmetic inclusion as practised by the monarchy - ethnic
leaders could be brought in but would not pose any real challenge. Both parties oppose ethnic federalism. "Chunavi ghoshana
ever, they are unclear about what they stand for. The RJP
envisions a kind of mainstream "Western-style" conservatism, which it defines in terms of economic, social and cultural values. What those mean in the Nepali context is unclear and so little in their policies is likely to gain traction.145
The RPP has called for a referendum on secularism.
There is a chance that all three parties will try to unite behind a pro-Hindu position.146 This is not necessarily because of a real conviction about the cause. The RJP, for
example, has often spoken about allying with what it calls
democratic forces, notably the Congress, but it would
always be a very junior partner in such an alliance. Ifthe
old monarchical forces come together, each would be
playing on a more level field. The monarchist parties'
appeal to Hindu sentiment echoes the old state, but it will
be a more muscular iteration of Hinduism, inevitably drawing on the Hindu-political-criminal nexus in some parts of
the country, such as the Tarai, or in aggressive upper-caste
politics in parts ofthe middle hills.147
The new Nepali right - or conservative middle or moderate right that the RJP would have liked to shape - does
exist, but it is the domain ofthe Congress and UML. The
RJP does not have the organisational capacity or leadership to mobilise around issues with mass appeal, like the
anxieties about federalism. The RJP and RPP are also still
perceived as crypto-royalists disdainful ofthe rough and
tumble of democratic politics and sometimes paternalistic.
Their space lies further to the right, informed by nostalgia
forthe old order and trying to sketch new outlines around
the shadows ofthe old state.
patrako sarsangshep", RJP election manifesto, 2008; "Ghoshana patra: Samvidhan Sabha nirvachan", RPP election manifesto, 2008; and "Rastriya Prajatantra Partyle prastav gareko
sanghiyatako samrachana", RPP, date unspecified.
145 See, for example, "Occupy the centre", The Kathmandu
Post, 19 April 2012.
146 "Purva panchaharu ek bhayera chunavma jane grihakarya-
ma", Naya Patrika, 23 July 2012. Past efforts to reunify the
three parties had stalled due to the RPP(N)'s unwillingness to
abandon its monarchical agenda. See also "Talks to unify RPP,
RJP, RPP(N) inconclusive", Republica, 17 November 2011.
147 For example, the Vishwa Hindu Mahasangh, a prominent
Hindu group, claims to have ties with and overlapping roles in
the RPP(N) due to their common views on the Hindu state. Crisis Group interview, Vishwa Hindu Mahasangh member, Banke,
May 2011. For more, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal: Identity
Politics and Federalism, op. cit, Section III.D.2.
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1.    Janajati party politics
A possible political change is coming from ethnic leaders,
activists and academics, some of whom are affiliated with
the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities, or NEFIN,
a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with a long history of activism aboutjanajati issues.148 In August, this group
of people announced a new party for ethnic and other marginalised groups, provisionally named the Social Democratic Pluri-National Party. They are encouraged by the relative
success ofthe cross-party janajati caucus in the assembly
and the possibility of fresh elections. This group was quick
to note that the party would be janajati-led, but not for
janajatis alone. Rather, it would work with a wide range
of marginalised groups for equality and social justice.149
The party is not yet officially registered with the election
commission. It has a name and manifesto, but plans further public consultations and discussions. UML janajati
leaders have been particularly sceptical ofthe new party,
arguing that it needs ideological clarity and should not be
prioritising indigenousness above broader politics.^Although there is no formal connection between NEFIN and
the new party, some veteran NEFIN activists are involved
in the party and they could capitalise on connections to
the organisation's broad network.151 At the national level,
NEFIN contains representative bodies of different ethnic
groups, which will be of limited if any use in electoral poli-
NEFIN is an influential umbrella organisation of janajati
NGOs that was formed in 1991. It, among others, was instrumental in janajatis taking on indigenous status and framing
much ofthe debate around indigenous issues and the ILO convention 169. It has received international funding, including
until recently from the British Department of International Development (DFID). This funding was stopped in May 2011, after NEFIN organised a strike. The agency judged such political
activity could not receive development funds. Receiving international funding including for development work opens identity-based groups up to accusations that their agendas are not
"homegrown". For more on this issue, see Crisis Group Report,
Nepal's Constitution (I), op. cit, Sections II.B and V.B. For
more on the indigenous label, see ibid, Section II. A.4. On ILO
169, see Section III.B above.
149 However, the party's manifesto suggests that it will lobby
for indigenous demands to be met through the right to self-determination, autonomy, self-rule and the use of customary law.
"Proposed Manifesto of [the] Social Democratic Pluri-National
Party", 9 August 2012.
150 AjambarKangmang, "Adivasivadlebadhautpannagarcha",
Naya Patrika, 13 August 2012.
151 For example, a former NEFIN president, Pasang Sherpa, is
currently adviser to the NGO and involved in the new party.
tics. But it has a strong, nationwide network in the districts,
with organisations in more than 60 of Nepal's 75 districts
and a presence in over 2,500 of almost 4,000 Village Development Committees (VDCs).152
The nascent party needs experienced politicians to plan
and implement electoral strategies and a few big names to
prove it is a serious political entity rather than an academic
experiment. Its announcement puts pressure on non-Maoist
janajati leaders to gain concessions from their leaders on
ethnic issues or leave the parties that stand against their concerns.153 The party also hopes to capitalise on the defection
of mid-level organisers and grassroots workers whose
loyalties are shifting away from the UML, in particular.154
2.    Upper-caste groups
Less organised than janajati movements are groups representing upper-caste interests. Pro-federalism activists
who demand greater inclusion that is, representation of
marginalised groups in state institutions and politics and
better access to economic opportunities, seek to dismantle
the traditional privileges of Brahmins and Chhetris, the
two highest castes in the Hindu hierarchy. These two groups
believe they will lose the most after federalism and have
sometimes agitated together. However, Chhetri organisations are critical of what they call Brahmin dominance.
They believe that being equated with Brahmins overlooks
the sharp differences between the groups in terms of representation and influence, development status and other
indicators.155 "Grouping Brahmins and Chhetris together
prolongs Brahmin dominance. One of our main agendas
is anti-Brahminism", said a Chhetri activist in Sunsari.156
Chhetri organisations have reached out to mainstream politicians overthe past two years with little success, although
some national-level leaders are widely thought to be sym-
The new party is taking lessons from the success ofthe Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) group of parties. The MJF began
as an NGO but capitalised on a combination of grassroots organisation, intellectual cohesion, a mass movement and the defection of mainstream leaders to the party to become a formidable electoral force. Crisis Group interview Janajati activist,
Kathmandu, June 2012. "Existential crisis", Republica, 7 July
153 Crisis Group telephone interviews, UML and Congress janajati leaders, Kathmandu, June 2012.
154 Crisis Group interview, adviser to the new party, Kathmandu, July 2012.
155 Crisis Group interviews, Chhetri activists, Sunsari, November 2011; Chhetri activists, Kathmandu, January 2012. For
more onBrahmin and Chhetri representation, see footnote 102,
and on the Brahmin-Chhetri agitation, see Crisis Group Report,
Nepal's Constitution (I), op. cit, SectionII.A.4.
156 Crisis Group interview, Khas Chhetri activist, Sunsari, June
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Page 24
pathetic to the Chhetri cause.157 Some of these groups claim
to have the backing of retired Nepal Army personnel158 and
access to resources through the business world.159 There is
some overlap between supporters of various Chhetri groups
and Hindu and royalist groups. Any Chhetri electoral venture will need big political names. But established politicians are unlikely to leave their parties for a Chhetri-only
party. It is more useful to stay in their mainstream parties,
but maintain ties with Chhetri groups as an additional
source of support and mobilisation.160
Janajati and Chhetri groups have wide recognition within
their respective communities. Both have the ability to call
shutdowns or engage in confrontations with other groups;
but they equally need the support of well-known political
actors. A janajati-led party has, however, a greater chance
of making a mark as it is more likely to attract defectors
from the traditional parties, where there is a positive distaste for ethnic issues. Most Chhetri leaders, on the other
hand, can play the mainstream game while also keeping
their hand in caste organisations.
Chhetri activists claim Bhim Rawal, a senior UML leader, is
an active supporter. Crisis Group interview, Chhetri activist,
Kathmandu, November 2010. Leaders from several parties say
they have been asked to join the Chhetri movement and that
most of them declined. Crisis Group interviews, Maoist assembly member, Kathmandu, June 2012; Congress leader, Kathmandu, May 2012; Rastriya Janamorcha leader, Kathmandu, May
2011. InFebruary 2012, senior leaders from several parties, including Arjun Narsingh KC from the Congress, Rawal from the
UML, Chitra Bahadur KC from the Rastriya Janamorcha and
the sitting Maoist local development minister, Top Bahadur
Rayamajhi, spoke at a rally of Chhetri organisations protesting
being classified as an "other" group. These Chhetri groups demanded that their identity too be recognised in inclusion policies, that they too be classified as indigenous and that federal
states not be formed on the basis of ethnicity. "Chhetris seek
'indigenous' status infed[eral] set-up", The Kathmandu Post,
13 February 2012. Formore onthe significance ofthe designation for access to state quotas, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal's
Constitution (I), op. cit, Section II.A.2.
158 Crisis Group interview, Chhetri activist, Kathmandu, January 2012. Chhetris are heavily represented in the army, accounting for 43.64 per cent of personnel as of 2009. "State of inclu-
siveness in Nepalese Army", Nepal Army, available at: www.
159 A prominent Chhetri leader in Kathmandu owns several businesses and industries. Many Chhetri leaders outside the capital
also have business backgrounds. A leading Chhetri activist in
Panchthar, for example, was also the district's chamber of commerce chairperson. Crisis Group interview, Chhetri activist,
Panchthar, November 2011.
160 There is also a similar Brahmin organisation of which Prachanda is rumoured to be a member.
Tharu groups are generally accepted as being indigenous
to the Tarai. Although Tharus live across the plains, they
make up a greater proportion ofthe population of mid- and
far-western Nepal, and these are seen as "Tharu areas".
The Tharu movement has been significant at critical junctures ofthe inclusion and federalism debates, but some
members argue that Tharus' overall influence, whether in
the mainstream parties or in relation to the janajati movement, is still disproportionately small.161 There are barely
any Tharus in the decision-making bodies ofthe major
parties and Tharu issues matter even less to the traditional
parties than janajati issues.162 Even in NEFIN, Tharu activists say, there is a disconnect between Tharus and the
more influential hill janajatis}63
Although the indigenous tag links Tharus with hill janajatis, politically and geographically their nearest competitors
and collaborators are Madhesis.164 Tharu activism intensified in 2009 to oppose the community being lumped together with Madhesis in civil service quotas.165 In February
2012, Tharu groups again mobilised against an Inclusion
Bill they perceived as being tilted in favour of Madhesis.166
Despite this competition and perception that they are sidelined, Tharu groups will continue to ally with Madhesis,
janajatis and the Maoists in favour of federalism.167
In the 2001 census, Tharus were the fourth largest ethnic
group comprising 6.75 per cent ofthe population. "Rastriya Janaganana, 2058 (Jaat/Jaatiko Janasankhya)", op. cit.
162 For example, there are four Tharus in the Nepali Congress
central working committee and three in the UML central committee. The UCPN-M pre-split central committee had one Tharu
member, although there are now four in the convention organising committee that has replaced the central committee. The
CPN-M central committee has none. Crisis Group telephone interviews, Nepali Congress central working committee member,
UML central committee member, UCPN-M central committee
member, CPN-M politburo member, Kathmandu, August2012.
The major parties rarely, if ever, raise Tharu issues.
163 Crisis Group interview, Tharu leader, Kathmandu, June 2012.
164 In 2008, after the Madhes movement demanded a single Madhesi state spanning the entire Tarai, Tharu groups mobilised for
a "Tharuhat" state stretching from the central to far-western
Nepal. The more serious discussions on federalism in the last
two years have always provided for a Tharuhat state.
165 The government agreed to guarantee distinct constitutional
and legal recognition of Tharus after a thirteen-day strike.
166 ^g-jj on mciusion has Madhesi bias", The Himalayan Times,
15 February 2012. For more on the Inclusion Bill, see Crisis
Group Report, Nepal's Constitution (I), op. cit, Section II. A.2.
167 Crisis Group interview, Tharu leader, Kathmandu, June 2012.
Tharu groups are often not affiliated with political parties and
many activities are locally coordinated, such as the May 2012
protest countering a shutdown by another regional movement,
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Since 2006, Tharu politics has had many manifestations,
emerging when specific actions are needed against a law
or another group and then sinking back into the landscape.: 68
The Tharu Autonomous State Council (TASC), for example, is currently inactive but was militant, forming the
Tharuhat Liberation Army in November 2008 after the
Madhes movement and the elections, ostensibly for self-
defence. The Tharuhat Tarai Party (Nepal), which appears
only sporadically, was formed in August 2011 and demands
a Tharuhat state and recruitment of 10,000 Tharus into
the Nepal Army. The Samyukta Loktantrik Tharu Morcha
was an alliance of Tharu assembly members formed in
April 2012 that called for a united Tharuhat state with the
right to self-determination and priority rights.169
Disjointedness and disorganisation do not affect the ability of Tharu groups to mobilise politically. Despite some
differences, they also work together with non-Tharu
groups and will continue to do so. Before the insurgency
and for some time after the 2008 elections, the Tharu movement was closely connected to the Maoist party. Many
Maoist recruits in the mid- and far-west plains in particular were Tharu and these areas had a high incidence of state-
sponsored disappearances and killings. The Maoist party
did well in Tharu localities during the election, fielding
mostly Tharu candidates. In recent years, although there
is still cooperation with Maoist factions, local Tharu groups
have begun acting with a greater degree of autonomy.
They deal more independently with other political parties
and identity-based groups, including at the national level,
for example. Forthe far west, parts of which will be contested again in a new election and in the formation of federal states, Tharu actors will be important, possibly even
decisive political players.
There are well-established ethnic groups that have agitated for particular ethnicity-based states, such as the Limbuwan groups in Nepal's eastern hills. Until recently,
leaders of these groups saw the constitution-making process as a marker oftheir own progress. With the assembly
gone, elections serve that purpose. "Fresh polls give us a
chance to test our growth and our hard work over the past
few years", said a leader ofthe Federal Limbuwan State
Council (Lingden), FLSC(L), from Panchthar.170 This sentiment is echoed by upper-caste activists who agitated in
far-western Nepal in April and May for their state boundaries to reflect those of a historic kingdom and include
some territory that was generally assumed to be part of
the Tharuhat state.
The Limbuwan movement is one ofthe strongest hill ethnic
movements to emerge in recent years. It has gone through
a significant evolution. Like the Madhes movement, this
peaked with a long period of strong-arm activity including alleged extortion, control of sections ofthe main artery connecting "Limbuwan" to the rest of the country,
shutdowns and the very occasional targeting of government representatives.171 A part ofthe movement seemed to
have undergone a slow de-radicalisation, in part because
some leaders began spending time in Kathmandu making
connections with other groups. Individuals also do not sever their old party affiliations, which are sometimes with
the Congress or UML. As a result, there are occasionally
local leaders who claim that their proposed state closely
resembles the Congress's proposed eastern hill state.172
A prolonged deadlock with neither elections nor revival
ofthe assembly will not go down well. Leaders complain
the Undivided Far-West movement. See Crisis Group Report,
Nepal's Constitution (I), op. cit, SectionII.A.4.
168 See, for example, "Alliance to press for Tharuhat state", The
Kathmandu Post, 29 April 2012; "Tharuhat-tarai party gathan",
Kantipur, 13 August 2011. Earlier Tharu organisations, notably
the Backward Society Education (BASE) since the 1990s, focused on grassroots development and social empowerment. See,
Arjun Guneratne, Many Tongues, One People: The Making of
Tharu Identity in Nepal (Ithaca, 2002), pp. 113-114. Like
NEFIN, BASE also has received international funding, particularly from the U.S. Agency for International Development
(U SAID). Such "targeted aid" has become a thorn in the side of
sceptics of federalism. While in the 1990s, Tharus were seen by
many of Nepal's elites as "backward" and needing to be "uplifted", many are now uncomfortable with the overt political
expressions of that "upliftmenf'. For more on donors and identity politics, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Constitution (I),
op. cit, Section V.B.
169 For more on the janajati demand for political prime, preferential or priority rights, see ibid, Section II.A.2.
Crisis Group telephone interview, June 2012. For more on
the Limbuwan movement, their organisation capacities and potential flashpoint, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal: Identity Politics and Federalism, op. cit, Section III.C. 1.
171 In eastern Nepal, Limbuwan groups for some time imposed
"taxes" on the transport of cash crops such as cardamom through
territory they say should belong to the future Limbuwan state.
This served both to raise funds and to reiterate their claims of
belonging and control. Some ofthe more militant ethnic groups
like the Kirat Janabadi Workers' Party, an underground outfit
demanding a large "Kirat" state across the eastern hills, have targeted police posts in the past, or threatened secretaries of Village Development Committees in their position as representatives of the state. The first action is taken directly out of the
Maoists' original playbook and the second is borrowed from
the many armed groups that sprang up in the Tarai after the
Madhes movement. In this region, improvised explosive devices (IED) are still occasionally set off at government offices,
though casualties are few and rare.
172 Crisis Group interview, Limbuwan leaders and activists,
Sunsari, June 2012.
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that cadres are frustrated by the loss ofthe assembly, as
well as stagnation and inactivity during the months they
spent waiting for the constitution.173 When negotiations
on federalism resume, Limbuwan and other identity groups
will pressure the parties and their own representatives. If
the parties again suggest that the constitution can be written by a commission, they will immediately agitate, questioning the selection of commission members and calling
the process undemocratic and disrespectful.174 These groups
could use the same pressure tactics they have deployed in
the past. In more extreme cases, activists could target individuals they see as against their cause, members of parties they believe are irresponsible, or symbols ofthe government. Clashes between groups that reject each other's
ideas of federalism or feel threatened by them are increasingly a matter for concern, but these are not restricted to
non-party actors.
Local activism has sprung up in specific areas, either as
the idea of new states has permeated into the broader social consciousness or as leaders realise the impact that the
new boundaries will have on their constituencies. For example, the three eastern Tarai districts of Jhapa, Morang
and Sunsari were to have been part ofthe Madhes state.
But in May 2012, national leaders from these areas began
to argue that these districts should be part of a separate
state as their populations were not largely Madhesi.175
They were threatened by Madhesi aspirations and by Limbuwan claims to these districts.176 This has nottaken on the
characteristics of a movement yet. A movement in April
and May in the Tarai hub of Janakpur for a Mithila state
in the Madhes to safeguard Maithili culture was shortlived, but claimed four lives when a sit-in by its supporters
was bombed.177
" [Since the assembly ended] lots of our cadres are angry but
we are trying to keep them under control". Crisis Group telephone interview, Limbuwan leader, Sunsari, May 2012.
174 Such a commission has been discussed by leaders from the
Congress as well as the Maoists, including Mohan Baidya. A
janajati leader claimed that such a commission could not be
inclusive or representative and would lead to intense street protests. Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, June 2012.
175 These areas have often been considered to have a distinct
historical identity and in the original Maoist proposal formed a
state called Koch or Kochila. On the ground, a small Madhesi
indigenous group called Rajbanshi leads the charge, claiming
the area as a homeland.
176 Crisis Group interviews, national level negotiator, Kathmandu, June 2012; Congress leaders, UML leaders, journalists,
businessmen, human rights activists, Sunsari, Jhapa, June 2012.
177 An IED was thrown at a sit-in ofthe movement. Four people
died, including a noted theatre personality. "Janakpurma dhar-
nasthalma visfof', Kantipur, 1 May 2012. Although an underground Tarai armed group claimed responsibility, the consensus is that it acted on behalf of other interests, possibly anti-
federal groups. Many theories did the rounds in Janakpur, in-
The most successful so far of these regional movements
has been that calling for an "Undivided Far-West" state.
It began in a small way in 2010, and now has the support
of some senior leaders from the Congress, UML and the
Maoist party. Proponents of an undivided farwest, mostly
upper caste, insist that they want federalism, largely because they are confident they will retain control in their
region and gain more influence.178Activists use the language of identity politics to assert the territory's historical
and regional distinctiveness. "Our movement is based on
our unique culture and society and the threat upon our regional identity", said a far-west activist in Doti district.179
They also note that many families ofthe far-western hills
own property and businesses in the plains and divide their
lives between these locations.180 There are also a number
of national- or central-level leaders whose homes are in
the hills, but constituencies are in the plains or midway.
As in the case ofthe eastern Tarai, this influences the negotiating positions of national parties.
Ethnic activists argue that the agitation for an undivided
far west and the smaller contestation over territory in the
eastern Tarai aim to dilute the importance of identity in
federalism negotiations by reaffirming the primacy of
eluding the possibility that the group wanted a higher profile.
There is little evidence to support any position definitively.
Maithili-speaking Madhesi Brahmins ofthe eastern Tarai are an
influential community. Representatives ofthe movement claim
that Maithili culture is unique and has deep historical ties to the
Janakpur area. Some members of this community are said to feel
threatened by the political rise ofthe Yadav community. Members of non-Brahmin communities in the area point out that the
movement to preserve Maithili culture reiterated the superiority
ofthe language used by Brahmins and did not have wide support. Crisis Group interviews, activists from the Mithila movement, Madhesi parties, Maoists, Janakpur, May 2012.
178 Activists are careful to avoid statements that might sound
like caste supremacism. In the past, some Chhetri organisations
claimed that if state restructuring were to be based on ethnicity,
their group should have a state in far-western Nepal. "Khas
Andolan: Adhyyan ra vivechana", Khas Chhetri Ekta Samaj,
March 2010.
179 Crisis Group interview, far-west activist, Doti, April 2012.
180 Activists fear that if their landholdings end up in the Tharu
state, their access could be limited or ownership contested.
Several leaders from far-western districts support the Undivided
Far-West state, most notably the Maoists' Lekh Raj Bhatta, the
UML's Bhim Rawal and the Congress's Sher Bahadur Deuba
and Ramesh Lekhak. Bhatta and Lekhak spoke at rallies in May
and pressured the government to accept agitators' demands.
"Leaders set condition to lift Far-West strike",, 7
May 2012. Activists emphasise the far west's unique culture,
tradition and dialect. The residents of Doti district, for example,
cite the Doteli language as a source of regional pride. Crisis Group
interviews, Dadeldhura, Doti, Kanchanpur, Kailali, April 2012.
Unlike Madhesi andjanajati activists, they are rarely accused
of wanting ethnic federalism or plotting to split the country.
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Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012	
Page 27
upper-caste concerns. Yet, it could also be argued that the
far-west movement in particular accepts the importance
of "identity", but uses it differently. Here, upper-caste
groups refer to regional identity, rather than caste or ethnic
identity. They are dispersed across the country and cannot
claim a Brahmin or Chhetri state, yet there are areas where
they are dominant and have long historical and cultural
ties. The far west is the best example - the population is
overwhelmingly caste Hindu, namely Brahmin, Chhetri
and the similar Thakuri caste, and Dalit. Dalits, the "untouchable" caste, have not participated in the movement,
so it is in effect an upper-caste movement. Similarly, the
push by senior leaders in Kathmandu to separate the eastern end ofthe Tarai from the Madhesi state is not driven
by claims of a local indigenous group that the area is its
historic homeland and should be demarcated and named
as such. Rather, the motivation is to make Madhesi states
The case for the Undivided Far-West cannot perhaps be
dismissed lightly, but activists and politicians who claim
parts ofthe far-western Tarai districts of Kanchanpur and
Kailali meant to be part ofthe Tharuhat state will have to
revisit their attitudes towards their Tharu neighbours. In
discussions, it is common to hear statements such as, "we
have oppressed Tharus, and they certainly need concessions and special areas. They are truly indigenous and
backward".181 Tharu activists find this picture painted of a
downtrodden, semi-wild community that needs protected
areas patronising and say they want their rights, not paternalistic tolerance.182
A variety of non-party right-wing forces could be emboldened by the end ofthe assembly. There are some fixed
and clear points in this landscape, such as Hindu fundamentalist groups like the Shiv Sena Nepal and the Vishwa
Hindu Mahasangh. The latter has long established ties to
the former royal family and also reportedly to the RPP(N)
and Chhetri organisations that demand a reinstatement of
the Hindu state.183 Shiv Sena Nepal is more militant and
demands a Hindu state with a Hindu monarch, even if only
in a ceremonial role. It sometimes threatens violence and
far less often carries it out.184 On the few occasions that
there has been communal violence in recent years, such
groups have been deployed - or claim to have been - against
Muslims, in particular. Upper-caste groups, such as Chhetri
organisations, do not appear militant until there are protests
against identity-based federalism or demanding indigenous
status for upper castes, as in May 2012.185
It is more accurate to describe the militant far-right as a
network of interconnected interests including Hindu, royalist and upper-caste who often call on the same small core
of local goons. For some, particularly the regional interest
groups, it makes more sense to tap into mainstream politics, which allows better access to state power and services
in the new dispensation. State institutions traditionally
sympathetic to the Hindu monarchy, such as the Nepal
Army, are unlikely to provide direct support for any of
these groups.
181 Crisis Group interview, far-west mobiliser, Doti, April 2012.
182 Crisis group interview, Tharu activist, Kathmandu, June 2012.
Approximately 80 per cent of Nepal's population is Hindu
and until 2008 it was the only Hindu state in the world. Crisis
Group interview, Chhetri activist, Kathmandu, August 2011.
See also Crisis Group Report, Nepal: Identity Politics and Federalism, op. cit.
184 A Shiv Sena leader, for example, said they could take up arms
if secularism was included in the new constitution. Crisis Group
interview, Shiv Sena Nepal leader, Kathmandu, November 2011.
In May 2009, a Hindu extremist group called the Nepal Defence Army bombed a church in Lalitpur, killing three people.
185 For more, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Constitution (I),
op. cit, Section IV.C and Section IV.A above. Chhetri activists
also clashed with ethnic activists in Pokhara city in late May and
helped mobilise for a rally in favour of the 1990 constitution.
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012	
Page 28
Nepal's Dalits remain the country's most under-privileged
group, as well as the most subject to discrimination. They
also stand to gain the least from state restructuring, having
no territory or demographic advantage. The "non-territorial" state the federalism commission suggested for Dalits
is problematic. One effect it could have is of introducing
special Dalit-only institutions, which would segregate Dalit
groups from the rest ofthe population even more than they
are now.186 The community has notmobilised aggressively.
Dalits, and to a lesser extent Tharus, have an uncomfortable relationship even with other marginalised or identity-
based groups. Many janajati communities, for example,
have adopted the caste Hindu attitudes and discriminatory
behaviours towards Dalits.
Although the Dalit movement remains on the political
margins, it has made some gains at the national level. Like
all other marginalised groups, Dalits gained from the quotas imposed on proportional representation in the Constituent Assembly.187 Possibly the movement's biggest gain
was a May 2011 law which criminalised untouchability and
caste-based discrimination.188 An activist says that Dalits
gained from the assembly in other ways, too, but "by accident". "Anytime Madhesis, for example, demanded rights,
political leaders [from other parties] would say that Dalits
were truly marginalised and deserved rights. The parties
thus inadvertently made commitments to us", he said.189
Many feared that, although well-intentioned, the proposal of
the State Restructuring Commission (which got a Dalit representative only after protests by Dalit assembly members) would
become a way of legalising the separation of Dalits from other
social groups. Maoist Dalit leader Khadga Bahadur Bishwakar-
ma called the idea "an imported conspiracy". "Non-territorial
federalism an imported conspiracy", The Kathmandu Post, 13
February 2012.
187 The House of Representatives in 1992 had one Dalit member and in 1995 and 1999, the legislature had no Dalit representatives. The 2006 Interim Parliament had eighteen Dalits
and the 2008 assembly, 50. SuyashDarnal, A Land of Our Own
(Kathmandu, 2009), p. 15.
188 Untouchability had first been outlawed in the 1963 Muluki
Ain, or National Code. The 2011 Caste Based Discrimination
and Untouchability (Offence and Punishment) Act was significant because it lists acts that constitute caste-based discrimination and untouchability, and bars untouchability in both public
and private spaces. It also outlines penalties of up to three years'
imprisonment. The law also has provisions for perpetrators to
provide restitution to victims. Caste Based Discrimination and
Untouchability (Offence and Punishment) Act, 2011.
189 Crisis Group interview, Dalit activist, Kathmandu, July 2012.
The claims of Dalits were also tacked on to a movement by up-
Despite their extremely limited ability to influence outcomes, some activists say that the end ofthe Constituent
Assembly was "more unfortunate forthe Dalit community
than any other".190 Several ofthe assembly's smaller committees working on specific constitutional issues had provisions for special rights for Dalits and there are concerns
that these will have to be renegotiated or will be dropped.191
Dalits comprise a sizeable chunk of Nepal's population.192
However, several factors hinder their ability to organise
politically. The Dalit population is scattered throughout
the country and has no claim over a distinct territory and
no demand for a federal state.193 This lessens its appeal to
political leaders who seek demographic and electoral advantages. Many factors make it difficult for Dalits to mobilise as a group: Dalit communities often discriminate
against each other; Madhesi Dalits are more discriminated
against than hill Dalit groups and the two sets of communities often have little in common. Moreover, the definition of who is a Dalit is sometimes unclear.194
There was a Dalit caucus in the assembly, but most of them
were bound more by party allegiances than commitment
to the caucus. This is, in part, because many parties picked
pliant members to fill their required quotas, rather than
members who might speak their own minds.195 As long as
per-caste Hindus to be classified as indigenous. No major Dalit
organisation was part of this alliance, although because Brahmins and Chhetris did not want to be seen as against marginalised groups, they co-opted the Dalit cause, too. For more on
this agitation, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Constitution
(I), op. cit, Section II.A.4.
190 Crisis Group interview, Dalit activist, Kathmandu, July 2012.
191 For example, the Committee on State Restructuring and Distribution of State Power provided Dalits "proportional representation on the basis of population at the federal state and local levels" . "Confusion in Dalit Transformation in the New Constitution of Nepal", Samata Foundation, September 2010.
192 In the 2001 census, Dalits comprised 12.82 per cent ofthe
total population. "Dalits and Labour in Nepal: Discrimination
and Forced Labour", ILO, 2005. However, the August 2007
amendment to the Civil Service Act only allotted 4.05 per cent
of reservations for Dalits.
193 "We want neither a non-territorial state nor a geographic
state", said a prominent Dalit activist. Crisis Group interview,
Dalit activist, Kathmandu, July 2012.
194 For a useful analysis of Dalit identity and the need to redefine it, see "Voices from the powwow", The Kathmandu Post,
30 June 2010. For a closer look at intra-Dalit discrimination,
see "Fragmented voices", The Kathmandu Post, 14 November
2011. Social stigma led to some Dalits claiming to be Brahmins
on the 2011 census. "Dalits hiding their castes", The Kathmandu Post, 23 June 2011. Hill-based Dalits also have a long history of discriminating against Madhesi Dalits.
195 "The parties picked the weakest, least politically capable
Dalit candidates for the 2008 elections. So these Dalit leaders
became indebted to their parties and afraid to divert from party
lines", said a Dalit activist. Crisis Group interview, Dalit activ-
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Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012	
Page 29
these dynamics endure in a new assembly, or in any new
setup, it is difficult to see Dalits organising as a political
force at the national level. Their leaders could extract
provisions from other identity-based groups guaranteeing
Dalit-specific affirmative action and inclusion policies in
exchange for support of identity-based federalism but this
would require finding a common position on these issues
first.196 Until then, Dalit communities will continue to be
the pet minority ofthe traditional parties, who will be happy to use them to discount or diminish the claims ofthe
more powerful Madhesi andjanajati groups.
allowed to pass on citizenship, Nepal's "patriarchal culture"
would discriminate against people seen to be children of
single mothers.
Like other groups, the assembly also had a women's caucus and there were women on a number ofthe committees
that worked on the constitution. However, as with Dalit
members, party loyalties have exerted a greater influence
on women members, who often depend on the sufferance
ofthe party leadership for support oftheir careers.197
The caucus did, however, have a singular failure. There
were deep differences on citizenship provisions in the new
constitution. The draft that was approved by the parties required that both parents, notjust one, prove Nepali citizenship for a person to be considered a citizen. This provision will almost certainly increase the number of stateless
Nepalis who are children of single mothers, for example.
Currently, citizenship by descent is acquired through the
father. Amending this so mothers can also pass citizenship on to their children would be a solution. Instead, resistance came from two quarters. "Nationalist" members
of mainstream parties insisted that both parents be required
to pass on citizenship, driven by concerns that Nepal will
be flooded with Indians seeking Nepali citizenship through
marriage. Maoist women members also insisted on both
parents out of concerns that the identity of mothers will
be "erased" if citizenship is passed on through fathers only.
They said further that if women and only one parent were
ist, Kathmandu, July 2012. The Dalit Caucus' most significant
achievements included stalling parliament while protesting the
murder of a Dalit youth by upper-caste individuals in December 2011 and rejecting the State Restructuring Commission's
proposal to offer them a non-territorial federal state in February. "Cabinet provides Rs lm to bereaved Dalit family", The
Kathmandu Post, 28 December 2011. Only one ofthe 50 Dalit
assembly members belonged to a Dalit party, the Dalit Janajati
Party. "Confusion in Dalit Transformation in the New Constitution of Nepal", op. cit, p. 10.
196Formore, see Prashant Jha, "Stripped of dignity", TheKath-
mandu Post, 1 August 2012.
197 This section is based on interviews with a UML and a Congress member involved in the negotiations and a Maoist leader.
Kathmandu, April, May 2012.
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012	
Page 30
In Nepal today, the democratic process stands for the
broadest kinds of change - from war to peace and from a
narrow vision of what it means to be Nepali to a much
wider one. Even at their most modest, these are long-term,
ground-shifting goals. There are sharp debates about each
component. This is as it should be in the liberal democracy Nepal strives to be. But the deeply divergent views on
what the country should look like are not the only factors
that make the present moment so fraught. The other is the
state ofthe political parties themselves. They are badly run
and ideologically impoverished organisations with few
policy goals, unclear agendas and chronic leadership crises. Realignments might create alliances of actors who
want similar things, but they will not lead to the parties becoming more functional, either internally or with respect
to each other, or more capable of managing the many
contradictions between Nepal's numerous social and political groups.
Many issues involved in the transformation of Nepal,
such as secularism or more equitable ethnic representation through federalism, can be legislated as standards
and ideals. But their social impact cannot be managed
through laws and principles alone. The role ofthe parties
that mediate between society and the state will be critical.
To gain, rather than lose, they must all bring some order
to their own houses and look beyond parochial interests.
The traditional parties need to take a hard look at what they
want to stand for. Identity-based groups, for their part, will
not build lasting political institutions or networks by repressing diversity in their own ranks or reinforcing existing
disconnects. Extremists stand to benefit from the wholesale bankruptcy of mainstream politics. These forces will
not necessarily have major electoral successes, but if their
agenda is disruption, they will have a lot of space to play.
The parties will have no one to blame but themselves if
the gains ofthe peace process are threatened at this stage.
Kathmandu/Brussels, 27 August 2012
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012	
Page 31
The boundaries and names shown and the designations
used on this map do not imply official endorsement or
acceptance by the United Nations.
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Map No. 4304    UNITED NATIONS
January 2007 (Colour)
Department ol Peacekeeping Operations
Cartographic Section
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012	
Page 32
Constituent Assembly - unicameral
body tasked with drafting a new constitution, also served as a legislature-
parliament, term ended on 27 May
Backward Society Education - nongovernmental organisation focusing on
development of the indigenous Tharu
community, has strong organisation
capacity, founded by Dilli Chaudhary.
Members ofthe group traditionally
considered the highest caste hill-origin
Hindus, broadly called upper caste.
Broader Morcha
Brihat Madhesi Morcha or BMM -
smaller of the two fronts of Madhesi
parties, currently in the opposition, has
reasonable grassroots-level support and
influence in the Madhesi population.
Members of the group traditionally
considered the second highest caste
hill-origin Hindus, broadly called
upper caste.
Nepali Congress - second largest party
in the assembly which ended on 27
May, a major traditional player in
Nepal's democracy, strongly against
ethnicity-based federalism.
Comprehensive Peace Agreement -
November 2006 agreement officially
ending the decade-long war, signed
between the government of Nepal
and the Maoists, then called the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist
Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist or
"the new Maoist party" - formed by
Mohan Baidya "Kiran" in June 2012
after vertical split from the Unified
Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist
Members ofthe group of Hindus
considered at the bottom ofthe caste
ladder. Untouchability has been outlawed but Dalits still face many kinds
of discrimination.
Department for International Development - the UK government's
department responsible for promoting
development and the reduction of
poverty. Recently renamed UK Aid.
Federal Limbuwan State Council
(Lingden) - grassroots mobilisation
group in eastern Nepal, demands a
"Limbuwan" autonomous state based
on territory historically significant to
the Limbu ethnic group, split from the
original Federal Limbuwan State
Council in 2008.
Improvised Explosive Device.
An umbrella term for a large number
of ethnic groups, most from the hills,
outside the caste Hindu system, claim
distinct languages, cultures and often,
historical homelands.
Janajati caucus
Cross-party caucus of indigenous
assembly members formed to pressure
the national parties to pass a federal
model acknowledging identity.
Madhes movement
Popular political movement in 2007 by
Madhesi groups in the Tarai region of
Nepal protesting against systematic
discrimination and demanding federalism based on identity and more representation in state institutions.
An umbrella term for a population of
caste Hindus residing in the Tarai who
speak plains languages and often have
extensive economic, cultural and
family ties across the border in northern India.
Madhesi Morcha
Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha
or SLMM - alliance of five Madhesi
parties, MJF(L), MJF(G), TMLP,
TMLP(Nepal) and Sadbhavana Party.
Its primary agenda is federalism and
more equitable representation of
Madhesis in state institutions, it does
not include MJF(N) and Sanghiya
Sadbhavana Party, two other significant Madhesi parties.
Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Ganatantrik) - party formed by Jaya Prakash
Gupta when he and other members
split from the MJF(N) in May 2011.
Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Loktantrik) - party formed by Bijay Kumar
Gachhadar when he and other members
split from the MJF in 2009.
Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Nepal) -
party under the leadership of original
MJF chairman, Upendra Yadav.
Followers of the religion of Islam who
can be of both plains and hill origin but
predominantly live in the Tarai
Nepal Army, until 2006 the Royal
Nepal Army.
Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities - an umbrella organisation
of indigenous nationalities, formed in
1991, has a presence in over 60 of
Nepal's 75 districts and over 2,500 of
almost 4,000 Village Development
People's Volunteers Bureau
Youth wing of the new Maoist party,
formed in March 2011 while party was
still united, reactivated in April 2012,
led by Netra Bikram Chand "Biplov".
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012	
Page 33
People's Liberation Army - the army
of the Maoist party, which fought the
state for ten years, now disbanded.
Rastriya Janashakti Party - conservative party led by former monarchy-era
Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa,
split from the RPP in November 2005
and now in merger talks with the RPP
and the RPP(N).
Rastriya Prajatantra Party - conservative party led by Pashupati SJB Rana, now in merger talks with the RJP
Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Nepal) -
only party in the assembly that demanded restoration of the monarchy,
also demanded referendum on secularism and federalism, led by Kamal
Thapa, split from the RPP in 2008 but
now in merger talks with the RPP and
the RJP.
State Restructuring Commission
Commission formed in November
2011, tasked with recommending an
appropriate state restmcturing model to
the assembly, presented two reports in
January 2012 - a majority report with
ten states and a minority report with
six states.
State restructuring committee
Committee on State Restmcturing and
Distribution of State Power - one of
the assembly's ten thematic committees, submitted its report in January
2010 with a fourteen-state state restmcturing model.
Tharuhat Autonomous State Council -
council formerly led by Laxman Tharu,
notorious for militant rhetoric, played
significant role in the 2009 Tharu
Members of a high caste hill-origin
Hindu community, had close ties with
the Shah dynasty.
Members of the indigenous populations ofthe Tarai plains.
Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party - member of the Madhesi Morcha, led by the
widely respected politician Mahanta
Thakur, one ofthe parties formed when
the Congress lost its Madhesi leadership to the Madhes movement.
Unified Communist Party of Nepal-
Maoist, or just Maoists or "the establishment party" -largest party in the
now defunct assembly, came above
ground at the end of the war in 2006.
The party split in June 2012. The parent party retains this name, the new
party is called the Communist Party of
Communist Party of Nepal (Unified
Marxist-Leninist) - third largest party
in the last assembly.
Term used in the federalism debate to
refer to members ofthe highest caste
hill-origin Hindus, usually Brahmins or
Village Development Committee -
an administrative unit, there are almost
4,000 VDCs in Nepal.
Young Communist League - youth
wing ofthe Maoist party, many original members came from the PLA.
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012
Page 34
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 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012
Page 35
Central Asia
Tajikistan: On the Road to Failure, Asia
Report N°162, 12 February 2009.
Women and Radicalisation in Kyrgyzstan,
Asia Report N°176, 3 September 2009.
CentralAsia: Islamists in Prison, Asia
Briefing N°97, 15 December 2009.
CentralAsia: Migrants and the Economic
Crisis, Asia Report N° 183, 5 January
Kyrgyzstan: A Hollow Regime Collapses,
Asia Briefing N°102, 27 April 2010.
The Pogroms in Kyrgyzstan, Asia Report
N°193, 23 August 2010.
CentralAsia: Decay and Decline, Asia
Report N°201, 3 February 2011.
Tajikistan: The Changing Insurgent
Threats, Asia Report N°205, 24 May
Kyrgyzstan: Widening Ethnic Divisions in
the South, Asia Report N°222, 29 March
North East Asia
North Korea's Missile Launch: The Risks
ofOverreaction, Asia Briefing N°91,
31 March 2009.
China's Growing Role in UN Peacekeeping, Asia Report N°166, 17 April
2009 (also available in Chinese).
North Korea's Chemical and Biological
Weapons Programs, Asia Report N°167,
18 June 2009.
North Korea's Nuclear and Missile Programs, Asia Report N° 168, 18 June
North Korea: Getting Back to Talks, Asia
Report N° 169, 18 June 2009.
China's Myanmar Dilemma, Asia Report
N°177, 14 September 2009 (also available in Chinese).
Shades of Red: China's Debate over North
Korea, Asia Report N°179, 2 November
2009 (also available in Chinese).
The Iran Nuclear Issue: The View from
Beijing, Asia Briefing N°100,17 February 2010 (also available in Chinese).
North Korea under Tightening Sanctions,
Asia Briefing N°101, 15 March 2010.
China's Myanmar Strategy: Elections,
Ethnic Politics and Economics, Asia
Briefing N°l 12, 21 September 2010
(also available in Chinese).
North Korea: The Risks of War in the
Yellow Sea, Asia Report N° 198,23
December 2010.
China and Inter-Korean Clashes in the
Yellow Sea, Asia Report N°200,27
January 2011 (also available in Chinese).
Strangers at Home: North Koreans in the
South, Asia Report N°208, 14 July 2011
(also available in Korean).
South Korea: The Shifting Sands of
Security Policy, Asia Briefing N°130, 1
December 2011.
Stirring up the South China Sea (I), Asia
Report N°223, 23 April 2012 (also
available in Chinese).
Stirring up the South China Sea (II):
Regional Responses, Asia Report N°229,
24 July 2012.
North Korean Succession and the Risks of
Instability, Asia Report N°230, 25 July
South Asia
Nepal's Faltering Peace Process, Asia
Report N°163, 19 February 2009 (also
available in Nepali).
Afghanistan: New U.S. Administration,
New Directions, Asia Briefing N°89,
13 March 2009.
Pakistan: The Militant Jihadi Challenge,
Asia Report N° 164, 13 March2009.
Development Assistance and Conflict in Sri
Lanka: Lessons from the Eastern Province, Asia Report N°165,16 April 2009.
Pakistan's IDP Crisis: Challenges and
Opportunities, Asia Briefing N°93, 3
June 2009.
Afghanistan's Election Challenges, Asia
Report N°171, 24 June 2009.
Sri Lanka's Judiciary: Politicised Courts,
Compromised Rights, Asia Report
N°172, 30 June 2009.
Nepal's Future: In Whose Hands?, Asia
Report N°173, 13 August 2009 (also
available in Nepali).
Afghanistan: What Now for Refugees?,
Asia Report N° 175, 31 August 2009.
Pakistan: Countering Militancy in FATA,
Asia Report N°178, 21 October 2009.
Afghanistan: Elections and the Crisis of
Governance, Asia Briefing N°96,25
November 2009.
Bangladesh: Getting Police Reform on
Track, Asia Report N° 182, 11 December
Sri Lanka: A Bitter Peace, Asia Briefing
N°99, 11 January 2010.
Nepal: Peace and Justice, Asia Report
N°184, 14 January 2010.
Reforming Pakistan's Civil Service, Asia
Report N°185, 16 February 2010.
The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the
LTTE, Asia Report N° 186, 23 February
The Threat from Jamaat-ul Mujahideen
Bangladesh, Asia Report N° 187, 1
March 2010.
A Force in Fragments: Reconstituting the
Afghan National Army, Asia Report
N°190, 12 May 2010.
War Crimes in Sri Lanka, Asia Report
Steps Towards Peace: Putting Kashmiris
First, Asia Briefing N°106, 3 June 2010.
Pakistan: The Worsening IDP Crisis, Asia
Briefing N° 111, 16 September 2010.
Nepal's Political Rites of Passage, Asia
Report N° 194,29 September 2010 (also
available in Nepali).
Reforming Afghanistan's Broken Judiciary,
Asia Report N° 195, 17 November 2010.
Afghanistan: Exit vs Engagement, Asia
Briefing N°l 15, 28 November 2010.
Reforming Pakistan's Criminal Justice
System, Asia Report N°196, 6 December
Nepal: Identity Politics and Federalism,
Asia Report N° 199, 13 January 2011
(also available in Nepali).
Afghanistan's Elections Stalemate, Asia
Briefing N°l 17, 23 February 2011.
Reforming Pakistan's Electoral System,
Asia Report N°203, 30 March 2011.
Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, Asia Briefing
N°120, 7 April 2011 (also available in
India and Sri Lanka after the LTTE, Asia
Report N°206, 23 June 2011.
The Insurgency in Afghanistan's Heartland, Asia Report N°207, 27 June 2011.
Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Harder Than
Ever, Asia Report N°209, 18 July 2011.
Aid and Conflict in Afghanistan, Asia
Report N°210, 4 August 2011.
Nepal: From Two Armies to One, Asia
Report N°211, 18 August 2011 (also
available in Nepali).
Reforming Pakistan's Prison System, Asia
Report N°212,12 October 2011.
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012
Page 36
Islamic Parties in Pakistan, Asia Report
N°216, 12 December 2011.
Nepal's Peace Process: The Endgame
Nears, Asia Briefing N° 131, 13
December 2011 (also available in
Sri Lanka: Women's Insecurity in the North
and East, Asia Report N°217, 20
December 2011.
Sri Lanka's North I: The Denial of
Minority Rights, Asia Report N°219, 16
March 2012.
Sri Lanka's North II: Rebuilding under the
Military, Asia Report N°220,16 March
Talking About Talks: Toward a Political
Settlement in Afghanistan, Asia Report
N°221, 26 March 2012.
Pakistan's Relations with India: Beyond
Kashmir?, Asia Report N°224, 3 May
Bangladesh: Back to the Future, Asia
Report N°226, 13 June 2012.
Aid and Conflict in Pakistan, Asia Report
N°227, 27 June 2012.
Election Reform in Pakistan, Asia Briefing
N°137, 16 August 2012.
Nepal's Constitution (I): Evolution Not
Revolution, Asia Report N°233, 27
August 2012.
South East Asia
Local Election Disputes in Indonesia: The
Case of North Maluku, Asia Briefing
N°86, 22 January 2009.
Timor-Leste: No Time for Complacency,
Asia Briefing N°87, 9 February 2009.
The Philippines: Running in Place in
Mindanao, Asia Briefing N°88, 16
February 2009.
Indonesia: Deep Distrust in Aceh as
Elections Approach, Asia Briefing N°90,
23 March 2009.
Indonesia: Radicalisation ofthe 'Palem-
bang Group ", Asia Briefing N°92, 20
May 2009.
Recruiting Militants in Southern Thailand,
Asia Report N°170, 22 June 2009 (also
available in Thai).
Indonesia: The Hotel Bombings, Asia
Briefing N°94, 24 July 2009 (also available in Indonesian).
Myanmar: Towards the Elections, Asia
Report N°174, 20 August 2009.
Indonesia: Noordin Top's Support Base,
Asia Briefing N°95, 27 August 2009.
Handing Back Responsibility to Timor-
Leste 's Police, Asia Report N°180, 3
December 2009.
Southern Thailand: Moving towards Political Solutions?, Asia Report N° 181, 8
December 2009 (also available in Thai).
The Philippines: After the Maguindanao
Massacre, Asia Briefing N°98, 21
December 2009.
Radicalisation and Dialogue in Papua,
Asia Report N° 188, 11 March2010 (also
available in Indonesian).
Indonesia: Jihadi Surprise in Aceh, Asia
Report N° 189, 20 April 2010.
Philippines: Pre-election Tensions in
Central Mindanao, Asia Briefing N°103,
4 May 2010.
Timor-Leste: Oecusse and the Indonesian
Border, Asia Briefing N°104, 20 May
The Myanmar Elections, Asia Briefing
N°105, 27 May 2010 (also available in
Bridging Thailand's Deep Divide, Asia
Report N° 192, 5 July 2010 (also
available in Thai).
Indonesia: The Dark Side of Jama 'ah
Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), Asia Briefing
Indonesia: The Deepening Impasse in
Papua, Asia Briefing N°108, 3 August
Illicit Arms in Indonesia, Asia Briefing
N°109, 6 September 2010.
Managing Land Conflict in Timor-Leste,
Asia Briefing N°l 10, 9 September 2010.
Stalemate in Southern Thailand, Asia
Briefing N° 113, 3 November 2010 (also
available in Thai).
Indonesia: "Christianisation " and
Intolerance, Asia Briefing N°l 14, 24
November 2010.
Indonesia: Preventing Violence in Local
Elections, Asia Report N° 197, 8
December 2010 (also available in
Timor-Leste: Time for the UN to Step Back,
Asia Briefing N°l 16, 15 December
The Communist Insurgency in the
Philippines: Tactics and Talks, Asia
Report N°202, 14 February 2011.
Myanmar's Post-Election Landscape, Asia
Briefing N° 118, 7 March 2011 (also
available in Chinese and Burmese).
The Philippines: Back to the Table, Warily,
in Mindanao, Asia Briefing N° 119, 24
March 2011.
Thailand: The Calm Before Another
Storm?, Asia Briefing N°121, 11 April
2011 (also available in Chinese and
Timor-Leste: Reconciliation and Return
from Indonesia, Asia Briefing N°122, 18
April 2011 (also available in
Indonesian Jihadism: Small Groups, Big
Plans, Asia Report N°204, 19 April
2011 (also available in Chinese).
Indonesia: Gam vs Gam in the Aceh
Elections, Asia Briefing N°123,15 June
Indonesia: Debate over a New Intelligence
Bill, Asia Briefing N°124, 12 July 2011.
The Philippines: A New Strategy for Peace
in Mindanao?, Asia Briefing N°125, 3
August 2011.
Indonesia: Hope and Hard Reality in
Papua, Asia Briefing N°126, 22 August
Myanmar: Major Reform Underway, Asia
Briefing N°127, 22 September 2011
(also available in Burmese and Chinese).
Indonesia: Trouble Again in Ambon, Asia
Briefing N°128, 4 October 2011.
Timor-Leste's Veterans: An Unfinished
Struggle?, Asia Briefing N°129, 18
November 2011.
The Philippines: Indigenous Rights and the
MILF Peace Process, Asia Report
N°213, 22 November 2011.
Myanmar: A New Peace Initiative, Asia
Report N°214, 30 November 2011 (also
available in Burmese and Chinese).
Waging Peace: ASEAN and the Thai-
Cambodian Border Conflict, Asia Report
N°215, 6 December 2011 (also available
in Chinese).
Indonesia: From Vigilantism to Terrorism
in Cirebon, Asia Briefing N°132, 26
January 2012.
Indonesia: Cautious Calm in Ambon, Asia
Briefing N°133, 13 February 2012.
Indonesia: The Deadly Cost of Poor
Policing, Asia Report N°218,16
February 2012.
Timor-Leste's Elections: Leaving Behind a
Violent Past?, Asia Briefing N°134, 21
February 2012.
Indonesia: Averting Election Violence in
Aceh, Asia Briefing N°135, 29 February
Reform in Myanmar: One Year On, Asia
Briefing N°136, 11 April 2012 (also
available in Burmese).
The Philippines: Local Politics in the Sulu
Archipelago and the Peace Process,
Asia Report N°225, 15 May 2012.
How Indonesian Extremists Regroup, Asia
Report N°228, 16 July 2012.
Myanmar: The Politics of Economic
Reform, Asia Report N°231, 27 July
Indonesia: Dynamics of Violence in Papua,
Asia Report N°232, 9 August 2012.
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012
Page 37
Thomas R Pickering
Former U.S. Undersecretary of State;
Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India, Israel,
Jordan, El Salvador and Nigeria
Louise Arbour
Former UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights and Chief Prosecutor for the International
Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia
and Rwanda
Ayo Obe
Legal Practitioner, Lagos, Nigeria
Ghassan Salame
Dean, Paris School of International Affairs,
Sciences Po
Morton Abramowitz
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
and Ambassador to Turkey
Cheryl Carolus
Former South African High Commissioner to
the UK and Secretary General ofthe ANC
Maria Livanos Cattaui
Former Secretary-General ofthe International
Chamber of Commerce
Yoichi Funabashi
Chairman ofthe Rebuild Japan Initiative; Former
Editor-in-Chief, The Asahi Shimbun
Frank Giustra
President & CEO, Fiore Financial Corporation
Lord (Mark) Malloch-Brown
Former UN Deputy Secretary-General and
Administrator of the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP)
Moises Nairn
Senior Associate, International Economics
Program, Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace; Former Editor in Chief, Foreign Policy
George Soros
Chairman, Open Society Institute
Par Sten back
Former Foreign Minister of Finland
Nahum Barnea
Chief Columnist for Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel
Samuel Berger
Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group LLC;
Former U.S. National Security Adviser
Emma Bonino
Vice President ofthe Italian Senate; Former
Minister of International Trade and European
Affairs of Italy and European Commissioner
for Humanitarian Aid
Micheline Calmy-Rey
Former President of the Swiss Confederation
and Foreign Affairs Minister
Wesley Clark
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander
Sheila Coronel
Toni Stabile Professor of Practice in Investigative
Journalism; Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Columbia University, U.S.
Mark Eyskens
Former Prime Minister of Belgium
Nabil Fahmy
Former Ambassador of Egypt to the U.S. and
Japan; Founding Dean, School of Public Affairs,
American University in Cairo
Joshua Fink
CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Enso Capital
Management LLC
Joschka Fischer
Former Foreign Minister of Germany
Lykke Friis
Former Climate & Energy Minister and
Minister of Gender Equality of Denmark; Former
Prorector at the University of Copenhagen
Jean-Marie Guehenno
Arnold Saltzman Professor of War and Peace
Studies, Columbia University; Former UN Under-
Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations
Carla Hills
Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and U.S.
Trade Representative
Lena Hjelm-Wallen
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister of Sweden
Mo Ibrahim
Founder and Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation;
Founder, Celtel International
Igor Ivanov
Former Foreign Minister of the Russian
Asma Jahangir
President ofthe Supreme Court Bar Association
of Pakistan, Former UN Special Rapporteur on
the Freedom of Religion or Belief
Wadah Khanfar
Co-Founder, Al Sharq Forum; Former Director
General, Al Jazeera Network
Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Ricardo Lagos
Former President of Chile
Joanne Leedom-Ackerman
Former International Secretary of PEN
International; Novelist and journalist, U.S.
Lalit Mansingh
Former Foreign Secretary of India, Ambassador
to the U.S. and High Commissioner to the UK
Benjamin Mkapa
Former President of Tanzania
Laurence Parisot
President, French Business Confederation
Karim Raslan
Founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive
Officer of KRA Group
Paul Reynolds
President & Chief Executive Officer, Canaccord
Financial Inc.
Javier Solana
Former EU High Representative for the Common
Foreign and Security Policy, NATO Secretary-
General and Foreign Minister of Spain
Liv Monica Stubholt
Senior Vice President for Strategy and Communication, Kvaerner ASA; Former State Secretary
forthe Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Lawrence Summers
Former Director of the US National Economic
Council and Secretary ofthe U.S. Treasury;
President Emeritus of Harvard University
Wang Jisi
Dean, School of International Studies, Peking
University; Member, Foreign Policy Advisory
Committee ofthe Chinese Foreign Ministry
Wu Jianmin
Executive Vice Chairman, China Institute for
Innovation and Development Strategy; Member,
Foreign Policy Advisory Committee ofthe
Chinese Foreign Ministry; Former Ambassador
of China to the UN (Geneva) and France
Lionel Zinsou
CEO, PAI Partners
 Nepal's Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix
Crisis Group Asia Report N°234, 27 August 2012
Page 38
A distinguished group of individual and corporate donors providing essential support and expertise to Crisis Group.
Mala Gaonkar
Frank Holmes
Steve Killelea
George Landegger
McKinsey & Company
Ford Nicholson & Lisa Wolverton
Harry Pokrandt
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Ian Telfer
White & Case LLP
Neil Woodyer
Individual and corporate supporters who play a key role in Crisis Group's efforts to prevent deadly conflict.
Anglo American PLC
APCO Worldwide Inc.
Ryan Beedie
Stanley Bergman & Edward
Harry Bookey & Pamela
Neil & Sandra DeFeo Family
Equinox Partners
Fares I. Fares
Neemat Frem
FTI Consulting
Seth & Jane Ginns
Alan Griffiths
Rita E. Hauser
Sir Joseph Hotung
lara Lee & George Gund
George Kellner
Amed Khan
Faisel Khan
Zelmira Koch Polk
Elliott Kulick
Jean Manas & Rebecca
Harriet Mouchly-Weiss
Naringslivets Inter-
nationella Rad (NIR) -
International Council of
Swedish Industry
Griff Norquist
Ana Luisa Ponti & Geoffrey
R. Hoguet
Kerry Propper
Michael L. Riordan
Nina Solarz
Belinda Stronach
Talisman Energy
TillekeS Gibbins
Kevin Torudag
VIVA Trust
Yapi Merkezi Construction
and Industry Inc.
Stelios S. Zavvos
Former Board Members who maintain an association with Crisis Group, and whose advice and support are called on (to the
extent consistent with any other office they may be holding at the time).
Martti Ahtisaari
Chairman Emeritus
George Mitchell
Chairman Emeritus
Gareth Evans
President Emeritus
Kenneth Adelman
Adnan Abu Odeh
HRH Prince Turki al-Faisal
Hushang Ansary
Oscar Arias
Ersin Anoglu
Richard Armitage
Diego Arria
Zainab Bangura
Shlomo Ben-Ami
Christoph Bertram
Alan Blinken
Lakhdar Brahimi
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Kim Campbell
Jorge Castaneda
Naresh Chandra
Eugene Chien
Joaquim Alberto Chissano
Victor Chu
Mong Joon Chung
Pat Cox
Gianfranco Dell'Alba
Jacques Delors
Alain Destexhe
Mou-Shih Ding
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
Gemot Erler
Marika Fahlen
Stanley Fischer
Malcolm Fraser
I.K. Gujral
Swanee Hunt
Max Jakobson
James V. Kimsey
Aleksander Kwasniewski
Todung Mulya Lubis
Allan J. MacEachen
Graga Machel
Jessica T. Mathews
Nobuo Matsunaga
Barbara McDougall
Matthew McHugh
Miklos Nemeth
Christine Ockrent
Timothy Ong
Olara Otunnu
Lord (Christopher) Patten
Shimon Peres
Victor Pinchuk
Surin Pitsuwan
Cyril Ramaphosa
Fidel V. Ramos
George Robertson
Michel Rocard
Volker Riihe
Giiler Sabanci
Mohamed Sahnoun
Salim A. Salim
Douglas Schoen
Christian Schwarz-Schilling
Michael Sohlman
Thorvald Stoltenberg
Leo Tindemans
Ed van Thijn
Simone Veil
Shirley Williams
Grigory Yavlinski
Uta Zapf
Ernesto Zedillo


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