Resham Chaudhary, who is a wanted fugitive has won a seat in the national parliament of Nepal. He has been in hiding during the entire duration of his campaign. Wanted for a deadly attack on the police, he won the seat from Kailali in western Nepal by a landslide. He also secured more than double the votes of his rival. During his campaign, he recorded a series of audio, video speeches that his supporters played on laptops at crowded rallies.
Chaudhary stands accused of masterminding an attack where eight police officers and a toddler were killed. He has been in hiding since 2015. He was also a leading figure in violent protests that erupted in 2015 over a controversial new constitution. Although he denied the charges as ”people’s uprising”, a parliamentary committee concluded the killings were intentional.
Ethnic minority groups from across Nepal’s southern lowlands took to the streets demanding changes to the charter. They claimed it left them politically marginalised.
Around 50 people died in clashes between protesters and police. It also led to a blockade of the border with India and a crippling shortage of goods in landlocked Nepal.
But a Human Rights Watch investigation found some protesters appeared to have come ready for violence. The movement has lost momentum in recent times and many of the leaders has also joined politics. There are also other instances of people on the police’s wanted list who have ended up in Nepal’s national parliament.
Votes are still being counted following the landmark national and provincial elections and the final results are expected by the end of week. But an alliance of the two major communist parties have already won a strong majority. This election marks the end of Nepal’s transitions from monarchy to democracy.