[fake voting in nepal]

Topic: Nepal

The BBC reports on Nepal’s sham election, in which voters — a few of them, anyway — are going to the polls today in Nepal to vote for candidates — a few of them, anyway — to the parliament and in local elections.

The combination of a Maoist call for a general strike and the withdrawal of more than 600 opposition candidates has reduced voter turnout to a trickle and made the whole exercise meaningless. The opposition parties claim that the election is designed only to reinforce the king’s illegal seizure of power.

The Maoists — perhaps the world’s sanest guerilla rebels — have recently declared that they would be willing to accept the continuation of the monarchy, with some political powers, if that’s what the Nepali people want. But until the violence settles down, and until the king gives up the bulk of political power to the parliament, there’s no way to find out.