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Asia-Pacific

Nepal still waits for a new government

media Maoist Centre rally in Bharatpur in the southern Terai region © Zeenat Hansrod

Three weeks after the second phase of Nepal’s parliamentary & provincial elections, the country still doesn’t have a government. These are the first elections after a new Constitution was approved in 2015.

“It is the same old people from the past and this deadlock will drag on for a bit but there is a deadline” – Kunda Dixit 26/12/2017 - by Zeenat Hansrod Listen

The Left Alliance between the Maoist Centre and the Unified Maoist-Leninists appears to have won, over the Nepali Congress party, which has been mainly in power since 1991.

But the Election Commission has yet to publish the final results.

"The Nepali Congress is being a sore loser," explains Kunda Dixit, the chief editor of the weekly Nepali Times.

"They want to prolong their position before handing over power. On the other hand, the Left Alliance are in a triumphalist mood... very eager to take over [saying that] Prime minister Deuba should step down, even before the results are made offical."

For Dixit, it is the "same old story" of people clinging to power, people impatient to take over. A common feature in politics worldwide, he says, while citing Germany as an example where there is still no working coalition government since the country went to the polls in September.

Elections in Nepal were peaceful, free and fair. The millions of Nepalese who cast their votes made it clear that they now want a stable government unlike the former Congress-led ones that changed "as often as you change socks", according to one irate voter.

"[The population] is disappointed," declares Kunda Dixit, "The fact that the Alliance won so overwhelmingly means that they felt the mood of the public was for stability because that is the only way jobs can be created and development can move ahead."

According to Dixit, the deadlock cannot drag on beyond January. And there are deadlines set by the new Constitution. One of them being that the new parliament has to sit by mid-january.

Meanwhile, there is much hope for this new government operating under the new constitution, a constitution that was adopted in 2015 that declared Nepal a federal state with three levels of government: federal, provincial and local.

The move is intended to decentralise power from Kathmandu and bring much needed development to rural areas.

"Hopefully, it will bring more stability so that investors will come in and Nepal can develop its huge hydo-power potential," remarks Dixit.

 
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