Photo of the leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist): Pushpa Kamal Dahal better known as 'Prachanda' (the 'Fierce One')©Sam Kang Li

In June 2008, the former rebels of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) won the most seats (but not an overall majority) in Nepal's Constituent Assembly Elections. The Maoists sealed their victory by having their leader, Pushpa Kamal Dahal (known as 'Prachanda' - the 'Fierce'), elected as Prime Minister in August 2008. The Maoists' coalition government won on a platform of progressive social reforms and policies that aimed to address the deep inequalities in Nepali society. The Nepali people, traumatised by the decade-long Civil War, longed for peaceful, positive change and quite naturally had huge expectations.

Among their many campaign promises, the Maoists vowed to ban the recuitment of Nepalis into the British Gurkhas. They have since however softened their tone, saying that they must first oversee Nepal's 'economic revolution'. For the first time in over a decade Nepal had peace and a stable government, but as seems so often the way in Nepal, it was not to last long

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