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Nepal’s Gajurel: State Power is Our Goal (Kasama)


“Now, we’ll spearhead the ‘third Janaandolan’ against the president’s unconstitutional move to reinstate the Army chief and also complete our unfinished revolution.”

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The following are two statements by Gajurel. The first is recent from Kantipur Report. The second is a longer interview from October 2008.

C.P. Gajurel, 59, is a politburo member and chief of the foreign affairs bureau of the CPN (Maoist) party. In August 2003, while he was attempting to go to London from Chennai airport with forged travel documents, he was arrested and spent three years in jail in Chennai.

Following the second People’s Movement of 2006, and the entry of the Maoists into mainstream politics, he was released from jail in December 2007. Since his release, he has traveled internationally, raising awareness about and seeking support for his party. Thanks to Ka Frank for the first article.

NEPALGUNJ, May 17 – A senior Maoist leader said on Sunday that his party has not yet given up the goal of capturing the state.

“Capturing the state was not on our mind when we were leading the government. But Nepali Congress and CPN-UML were so scared of us — they sought help from India and the U.S.,” C.P. Gajurel said at his party’s mass meeting here.

The Unified CPN (Maoist) central secretariat member added,

“Now, we’ll spearhead the ‘third Janaandolan’ against the president’s unconstitutional move to reinstate the Army chief and also complete our unfinished revolution.”

Gajurel chastised India and the U.S., saying

“the two countries are standing against us as they came to know that we will not abort our goal — the establishment of a people’s republic — even after coming to power through ballot.”

“By supporting the UML candidate for the premiership, the two countries have shown they want to upset the leftist unity out of fear that the communists might establish people’s republic.”

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Interview 2008(Excerpts)

Thanks to Nickglais at Democracy and Class Struggle

Gajurel spoke with Aditya Adhikari and Kosh Raj Koirala of The Kathmandu Post on Oct. 23, 2008 about the new government, the ideological tussle in his party, and its relations with other parties and neighboring countries.

Excerpts:

Q: How do you assess the performance of the Maoist-led government so far?

C.P. Gajurel: We feel that the performance of the government has not lived up to the party’s hopes. Because it is a coalition government, it hasn’t been able to work according to the policies of our party. We entered government with the understanding that we have to undertake visible change two weeks after entering government. Even if we couldn’t immediately undertake major changes, we felt we could do smaller things, like controlling traffic and providing adequate supply of oil. But unfortunately we haven’t even been able to do that.

Q: Your party has said that it doesn’t believe in parliamentary democracy, but it believes in multi-party competition and doesn’t want to impose a traditional communist system. Could you explain what the state structure would look like under your model?

Gajurel: There is a mistaken belief that multi-party means parliament, the parliamentary system means democracy, and that no other form of democracy exists in the world. But there are many political systems in the world that are not parliamentary but have multiparty competition

.

Q: So what is the alternative that you propose?

Gajurel: In our multi-party system, there will be competition between parties that are nationalist, that have fought for the country and republicanism, who want to make a new Nepal . It could be that many parties could come together to form government. It’s not necessary that, like in parliament, there has to be an opposition party and a ruling party. In the interim period we didn’t have an opposition but the system was democratic. In fact, there is no provision for an opposition in the interim constitution. Only after the Nepali Congress decided to stay in opposition did we decide to allow for it.

Q: Who will select which parties are nationalist and will be allowed to compete? What are the parameters for selection?

Gajurel: The parameter is the party’s history among the people. The contribution it has made. The commitment it has towards the constitution we will draft. The commitment it has towards the country and its people.

Q: We hear that the Maoists say the state should be responsible for selecting parties that will be allowed to compete. That what the Maoists mean by multi-party democracy is one where they control the state and select which parties can compete and which cannot.

Gajurel: No. The system will have courts that will have final authority. There will be an Election Commission. These bodies will make decisions. The state can’t just stop some parties from competing just because it wants to.

Q: The policies of your party in government are very different from what your party used to state a few years ago. Don’t you feel that the party has deviated from its core ideology?

Gajurel: We haven’t deviated from our core ideology. We didn’t come to where we are through falling into some kind of misconception or illusion. We have our own strategy and our own tactics, and we’ve come here implementing them. The Constituent Assembly (CA) was a demand we put forth five or six years ago. We participated in the CA according to our own policies. Our central committee took a decision to enter government. But it is true that this is a new exercise. Such an exercise hadn’t occurred in the world communist movement.

Q: Recently there has been much talk in the media about the differences between the “hard-line” faction of your party, and the “moderates”. That one faction wants to go back to war to continue the revolution, while the other wants to continue the current peace process.

Gajurel: Various opinions and differences arise within the party, and it is important that they do. As communists, we define our party as one of unity in opposites. It is not monolithic. The different opinions in the party struggle against one another, and the party gains direction through this struggle.

But no-one in the party thinks that we should go back to armed struggle. Even the so-called hardliners don’t think this. Through armed struggle we have reached a phase where we can pursue our agenda through other means. Why should we then go back to it?

Q: We have heard a lot about the term ‘Federal Democratic Republic’ over the past two years. But what is this ‘People’s Republic’ that we’ve been hearing about more recently?

Gajurel: The national convention of our party, which is going to begin on November 9 or 10, will deal with this issue of the kind of republic we need. The ‘Federal Democratic Republic’ line was definitely useful in bringing an end to the monarchy and establishing a republic. But do we now move forward or consolidate this form of republic? To move forward we now need a ‘People’s Republic’. The maximum form the Federal Democratic Republic can take exists in India . But has the Indian republic been able to solve its problems? We don’t have to go further than Bihar to see how it functions. We have to do better than that.

Now it is said that a ‘People’s Republic’ is a communist republic. But it is not communist. Neither is it socialist. It is basically a bourgeois republic, but it has many elements of socialism. For example, there will be progressive land reform. There will be decentralization of many rights. There will be local self-governance for many castes and ethnicities. We want to move forward so that we don’t return to a feudal-type, capitalist-type of republic.

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