2017 Viewed As Year Of Election In Nepal

2017 Viewed As Year Of Election In Nepal

Jan. 1, 2018, 7:10 a.m.

2017 will be remembered as an election year for Nepal as three crucial local, provincial and federal elections were held successfully, giving high hopes to local people that the country will usher in much-needed political stability and development.

Nepal held the local body elections in over 700 village and municipal units in three phases in May, July and September, which were halted since 1997 due to political instability.

In the run-up to the elections in October, two major left-wing parties, the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) and CPN (Maoist Center), decided to forge alliance while announcing their plan to merge and launch a new communist party in Nepal. This gave a big surprise to many Nepali people who were in a jolly mood on the eve of Dashain, the biggest festival in Nepal.

Nepal held elections to provincial assemblies and federal parliament simultaneously in two phases in November and December and the results have already been made public by the Election Commission.

The CPN (UML), one of the oldest communist forces in Nepal, has emerged as the largest political party through these elections. The Nepali Congress, one of the oldest democratic forces who used to be the largest force, became the second largest this time. The CPN (Maoist Center), another communist party, ranked third through these elections.

The CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist Center) are likely to form the new coalition government within a month after the formation of the National Assembly, local media reported. K.P. Oli, the chairman of CPN (UML), is tipped to be the next prime minister of Nepal.

In April, Nepal's first female chief justice Sushila Karki was suspended and reinstated a month later when Nepalese parliamentarians lodged an impeachment motion at the Parliament, accusing her of bias and interfering with executive powers.

 In 2017, the Madhes-based fringe parties representing the Terai plains of Nepal bordering India, who launched series of protests against the new constitution since its promulgation, also took part in the elections though their demands remained unaddressed.

Nepal witnessed the change of guard in 2017 as Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba became the country's prime minister for the fourth time in May, replacing Pushpa Kamal Dahal whose tenure lasted from August 2016 to June 2017.

The Deuba-led government and Election Commission were praised for avoiding the possible constitution crisis by holding the crucial elections in the stipulated time-frame.

It was mandatory for Nepal to hold three-tier election, local, provincial and federal, before January next year as stated in the new constitution.

In the aftermath of the elections, people expect to end the ruinous instability that has plagued the country since 2008 after the country became a federal democratic republic abolishing the 240-year monarchy.

Nepal's recent elections were crucial steps to implement the landmark new constitution adopted in September 2015.

"There is now a ray of hope to the people deeply frustrated with frequent government changes in recent years that they will get a stable government at least for next five years," Dwarika Dhungel, a former top official, told Xinhua.

He hoped that the mandate of the elections is to end the political turbulence and limit the impact of the horse-trading in Kathmandu on the development of the country.

"Our wish is for a stable government because it can effectively carry out much-needed development work and enforce policies for the same," he said.

In 2018, Nepal will elect a federal parliament and it will also elect a prime minister, a president, and a vice president for the country.

 Provincial assemblies for each of Nepal's seven provinces will also be elected, which will then choose their chief ministers.

With the formation of new federal and provincial parliaments in coming months, there are expectations that Nepal will finally have a stable government that will last for at least five years, which can greatly help improve the country's fragile economy shattered by a devastating earthquakes in 2015.

Courtesy: Xinhua 

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