The election of Ram Baran Yadav as the first president of Nepal is a blow to the Maoists in that country.
Yadav, a veteran Nepali Congress leader of Indian origin, won in the teeth of Maoist opposition. His victory is especially bitter for the outfit led by Prachanda. It comes two days after a Maoist nominee for the post of vice-president was defeated. The vice-president belongs to the minority Madhesi community. It’s a victory for the nascent democracy in Nepal. Such victories, usually, come about in mature democracies and in Nepal they surely represent a first. It holds a lesson for Prachanda and his jacobins: Democracy is the art of compromise while trying to further one’s goals.
At the same time, it queers the political pitch in that country. The Maoists had won 220 seats in the 594-member constituent assembly. The danger now is that the sulking Maoists will not accept what is normal in democratic politics. Perhaps they should learn something from other countries where coalitions are common even in the face of single-party majorities.