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Nepal

The country’s attention is on the left alliance, as the two parties within it—the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre)—have not just won a massive victory in the federal elections but are also in a position to form governments in six out of the seven provinces. The only place where the left alliance is not dominant is in Province 2, where the Madhesi population overwhelmingly voted in the Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum Nepal (SSF-N) and the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJP-N).

 

The euphoria over the successful conduct of the polls, the first under the new constitution, is fast giving way to anarchy and confusion. Last Wednesday, abuses were hurled at the sitting Chief Justice, Gopal Prasad Parajuli, during a hearing before a division bench of Nepal’s Supreme Court.

 

Nepal has an economically feasible hydropower capacity of approximately 40,000 MW, but the fact that electricity imports from India have surged by about 20 percent in the last two weeks and are projected to jump further to 26 percent shows just how miserably we have failed to exploit this potential.

 

When the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) was launched in 1985, a key issue in its integrated programme of action was environment and meteorology.

 

The photo caption appearing in a vernacular newspaper showing candidates representing all major political parties at the upcoming Local Government Elections taking a pledge at a church service in Negombo to refrain from violence during the election campaign, no doubt, would have warmed the cockles of all those who saw it who desire a change in the violent political culture in this country.

 

 

The promulgation of the constitution and the holding of elections to all three tiers of government were meant to usher stability and peace into this land. But events have not unfolded as intended by the major parties. There is still discontent in the Madhes region, which could manifest again once provincial assemblies are formed.

 

These days, K.P. Oli, the prime minister-in-waiting, spends most of his time defending the democratic credentials of his party, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist. Oli’s defence is mainly a response to the Nepali Congress campaign during the election that the UML-led alliance would impose a totalitarian regime. He has also sought to question the Nepali Congress’s democratic credentials

 

After the country entered the federal structure – federal, provincial and local level – the federal government is under pressure to manage resources to meet recurrent and development expenditure.

 

At a time when far right political parties are on the ascent around the world, the Left Alliance in Nepal has garnered a two-thirds majority in the federal Parliament. The enormity of this opportunity rests on one man, soon-to-be prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli. But this will not be the first time in the country’s short practice of democracy that any political leader has been awarded such a chance.

 

 

Now in the grip of winter, Nepal has been experiencing a constant drop in temperatures country-wide. Meteorologists expect that the cold wave  will continue in the days to come, as such drops in temperature are normal this time of the year.

 


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