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E. II.6.b. Nepal, 2006

Despite the apparent achievements of the 1990 movement, successive elected governments in the 1990s failed to deliver any material difference to the people, and the politicians themselves became increasingly corrupt. In 1996 the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) declared a ‘People’s War’. This did not receive international attention until after November 2001, but was extremely successful, and by 2003 the Maoists controlled the majority of rural Nepal.

In June 2001 King Gyanendra had succeeded to the throne after a palace massacre in which the King, his brother, was murdered. Gyanendra proved ambitious for power and, using the civil war as a pretext, dissolved Parliament in October 2003. Subsequently he dismissed the Prime Minister, taking absolute monarchical power in February 2005.

In April 2006 a mass movement, in which democrats and Maoists (with the guerrillas laying aside their guns) cooperated, launched prolonged strikes and demonstrations which forced the king to reinstate parliament and to agree to elections to a constituent assembly to redraft the constitution. The newly elected parliament entered into negotiations with the Maoists, culminating in an agreed peace deal in November 2006. Despite continuing difficulties over the existence and role of the guerrilla army, in general Nepal appears to be an encouraging example of guerrillas switching to an unarmed struggle to achieve a peaceful outcome.

Daly, Tom, Unarmed resistance in Nepal, Peace News, issue 2478, 2006, pp. 5-5

Fair, Christine ; Levitas, Kerem ; Rauch, Collette, Nepal: Rule of Law and Human Rights Challenges, Briefing, Washington DC, US Institute of Peace, 2005

Brief analysis of gaps in 1990 Constitution and of the King’s February 2005 coup removing the Prime Minister

Navin, Mishra, Nepal: Democracy in Transition, Delhi, Authorspress, 2006, pp. 295

Discusses historical background since 1951, the evolution of parliamentary democracy from 1991-2001 and examines in detail the royal takeover and war with the Maoists.

Ogura, Kiyoko, Seeking State Power – The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Transitions Series No. 3, Berlin, Berghof Foundation, 2008, pp. 55

Chapter 4, ‘Transition to Peace and Nonviolent Politics in a Democratic State’, pp. 31-44.

Pratek, Pradhan, Nepal’s unfinished democratic revolution, South Asian Journal, issue 13 (July-September), 2006, pp. 14-23

Turber, Ches ; Bogati, Subinda, Civil Resistance and Peacebuilding: Nepal Case Study, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, 2021

The authors examine in particular on why the Maoists took up arms and then adopted civil resistance from 1996 to 2006, and on the continuing sources of more minor armed conflict since the settlement of 2006 due to 'flaws in the conflict settlement process'.

Vanaik, Achin, The New Himalayan Republic, New Left Review, issue 49 (Jan/Feb), 2008, pp. 47-72

Analyses the ‘Second Democratic Revolution’ of April 2006, which led to the end of the Nepali Monarchy in December 2007, and the historical background to the revolution, with a particular focus on the role of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

Vishwakarma, R.K., People’s Power in Nepal, New Delhi, Manak Publications, 2006, pp. 298

Prominent Maoist contributors.