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China to fund local elections in Nepal
Posted:Mar 29, 2017
 
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In an unprecedented move, China has extended financial support to Nepal for holding local-level elections, drawing criticism from the Madhesi agitators.
 
Chinese President Xi Jinping said, following his Tuesday meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ in Beijing, that China would grant 136 million Nepali rupees for the elections. This will be the first time that Nepal will hold local polls since the return of democracy a decade ago.
 
Madhesi protesters accused Beijing of fanning divisive undercurrents in Nepal. “There cannot be elections in Nepal without amendments and with money, China is fanning chances of conflicts in Nepal,” said Rajendra Mahato of the Madhesi Morcha.
 
The announcement came at the last day of Prachanda’s China visit during which he participated in the Boao Forum in Hainan and held bilateral talks with the Chinese government in Beijing. During his discussion with Mr. Xi, the Nepali leader also gave assurances for Nepal’s participation in the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.
 
However, the Madhesi Morcha said that Nepal’s democratic aspirations can not be sacrificed for economic development and connectivity. “China is supporting a wrong move by the government of Nepal by extending financial help to hold these elections,” Mr. Mahato said.
 
The Hindu, March 30, 2017
 
 
 
 
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