Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pottie Mouth

Via Tootle, who beat me to the punch, one of my good friends, David Pottie, got a lot of play in this story (which has for some reason been truncated). here is the quote, again from the Big Tent stalwart:
"Foreign observers of Nepali politics played down the risks of a Maoist participation in the new government. “The stereotypical and unrealistic fear is if Maoists win the election, this will be the one and only election,” said David Pottie, associate director of the democracy program at the Atlanta-based Carter Center. “That is very unlikely.”

The Maoists are likely to be a minority in the new government, Mr. Pottie said, and the political elite in this country, including those among the Maoists, continue to be dominated by upper-caste men. He hoped that would be broadened by the new caste, gender and ethnic quotas imposed on these elections. “It does not appear likely that there will be a return to the People’s War or a dismantling of democratic elements,” Mr. Pottie said.

Even the Indians, who should be the most worried about revolutionary Communists in power on the other side of a long and porous border, say elections are the only way to give the country a real shot at peace by bringing the Maoists under the parliamentary tent. “It does not solve Nepal’s problems at all; it is a door opener,” Shiv Mukherjee, the Indian ambassador to Nepal said in an interview.

“Mainstreaming the Maoists is one of the major achievements of these political party leaders,” he added. “There was a realization that eliminating the Maoists was not the way to go.”"

David is a Canadian with an African Studies PhD in Political Science. But he has branched out based on his work at the Carter Center. He was my best friend in South Africa when we both were based at Rhodes University and he is easily one of the smartest guys I have ever known.

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