International

Nepal’s leftist alliance appears to be cruising towards victory

Early tallies show it leading in 63 out of 80 constituencies where counting began

A leftist alliance between Nepal’s former Maoist rebels and communists appeared to be heading for a victory in elections aimed at completing a transition to democracy after the abolition of the monarchy and end to civil war.

Early tallies from Thursday’s vote show the leftists lead in 63 out of 80 constituencies where counting has begun.

Nepal has seen 10 government changes in as many years. Instability has given rise to corruption, retarded growth and slowed recovery from a 2015 earthquake that killed 9,000 people.

The election pits the centrist Nepali Congress party of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who heads a loose alliance that includes the Madhesi parties from Nepal’s southern plains and former royalists, against the tight-knit alliance of former Maoists and the moderate Communist UML party.

The Nepali Congress is considered a pro-India group, while the opposition alliance is seen as closer to China.

Nepal is a natural buffer between the two and the outcome could indicate whether China or India gets the upper hand in the battle for influence in a nation rich in hydropower and home to Mount Everest.

Abolition of monarchy

Nepal emerged from a civil war in 2006 and abolished its 239-year-old Hindu monarchy two years later.

Guna Raj Luintel, editor of the daily Nagarik, said it was almost certain the leftist alliance would win.

There are 165 seats to be decided on a first-past-the-post basis for which voting was held on Thursday with another 110 seats that will be decided by proportional representation.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 10:42:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/nepal-leftist-alliance-appears-heading-for-election-victory/article21381808.ece

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