Candidate Recruitment and Former Rebel Parties
36 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 24, 2011
What kinds of candidates do former rebel groups that transform into political parties recruit to their electoral banner after a civil war? Although there has been a growing literature on the transformation of rebel groups into political parties, there is remarkably little literature on the candidates they recruit to run under their banner. Using a unique data set that codes individual level candidate characteristics, I examine the kinds of candidates that a former rebel group, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), recruited to run in the single member plurality districts in the first Constituent Assembly Election in 2008 after the end of the Nepalese civil war. In particular, I examine two key questions: Who did the CPN(M) recruit to run under the banner of the party? Where did they nominate different kinds of candidates. The results suggest that the Maoists recruited candidates based on characteristics of the districts, not unlike what would be expected of most parties. Highly placed party officials were nominated in districts that were relatively “safe”, whereas district and regional party officials were nominated in areas that were supportive of the party. The party nominated candidates that were non party elites who had been recruited after the end of the civil war in districts that were “winnable”.
Keywords: Rebel Parties, Post Civil War Politics, Nepal, Communist Party
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