Maya Mirchandani discusses the Left Alliance’s victory in Nepal elections, India-Nepal relations and China’s growing influence in the region with Ranjit Rae, former Indian ambassador to Nepal.
There are strategic planners in the Indian establishment to whom the option of breaking the Left Alliance would come easily. Any such shortsighted move will be a disaster for India’s Nepal policy.
There is skepticism as well as a lot of hope, and it is now up to the big parties to lead Nepal on the path to peace and prosperity.
The Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist led by former premier K. P. Oli and the CPN-Maoist led by former premier Prachanda have forged electoral alliance
Both India and China are likely to be watching the results of Thursday’s election closely.
More than a decade after the end of a civil war between Maoist peasant guerrillas, Nepal is hoping this election will complete its long journey from a monarchy to becoming a federal republic.
While many voters feel that the constitution must be amended eventually, they are excited to cast their ballots for local representatives for the first time since local governments were disbanded in 2002.
The Madhesis continue to struggle to amend the constitution, even as they long to feel like they belong in Nepal.
Some Madhesis continue to demand a constitutional amendment before participating in the polls, but in much of the rest of the country, there appears to be little solidarity with their cause.
Sher Bahadur Deuba, widely seen as Nepal’s prime minister-in-waiting and the supposed mastermind of the impeachment motion, has disgraced himself by meddling with the judiciary.
Nepal is at a crossroads. An immediate political settlement with the Madhesi parties will help the country avoid widespread electoral violence, the possibility of foreign powers calling the shots and the eventual failure of the constitution.