A Hammer & Sickle, A Tree or A Sun

Kathmandu Travel Blog

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Party flags strung above a busy square in Kathmandu

For weeks, I was hearing rumours in India about the upcoming elections and how it could be dangerous for foreigners to travel in Nepal during, and especially after, the elections were held. 

Fair play.  After all, the job of writing the nations first constitution was the prize for winning the most seats in this election and the world was watching to see if the Maoist party, known for their more violent acts of protest, would gain control of the nation.


While wandering around the streets of Kathmandu rows of party flags were strung up around telephone poles and across the streets from building to building in a mass of zig-zags of reds, whites, and greens.   


Symbols for the different parties ranged from the Maoist’s hammer and sickle, a green tree for the Nepali Congress party, and a large round sun representing the UML, the Unified Marxist-Leninists.  These were the leading contenders and by the feeling and constant talk of the elections around town, it seemed that everyone intended to cast their vote.

Voter registration


But all seemed calm and orderly in Durbar Square, one of the main voting areas, on election day.  Of course, the government had prepared for something more. 


There was the prominent presence of police officers dressed in navy blue uniforms armed with rifles patrolling the square and there was a regular flow of passing pick-up trucks transporting police units around town. 


When I looked up from the queues at the voting stations, armed military guards could be seen posted at the buildings surrounded the square.


The results of the election still have yet to be tallied, but word from the locals listening to radio broadcasts all day and the front-page news headlines indicate that it will be a clear Maoist win.


Already there have been Maoist rallies of celebration on the streets and truck-loads of Maoist supporters waving flags and crying out cheers of victory roaring through the streets of Kathmandu.


And there you have it.  A communist government will be formed. 


For a nation looking to gain economic stability where the people have freely elected a communist party into power, it is curious to see how relations with its neighbours China and India will unfold.   

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Party flags strung above a busy sq…
Party flags strung above a busy s…
The mens line at the voting stati…
The men's line at the voting stat…
Voter registration
Voter registration
A soldier voting while a press pho…
A soldier voting while a press ph…
photo by: sharonburgher