understand nepal election
In the elections to be held in Nepal tomorrow, votes will be cast simultaneously for 275 parliamentary seats and 550 assembly seats in 7 provinces. Elections to the central and state governments are held simultaneously in Nepal. According to the Constitution of Nepal, out of 275 parliamentary seats in the country, 165 seats will be elected through the ‘First Past the Post’ (FPTP) system and the remaining 110 seats will be filled through Propersonal Representation (PR). At the same time, a total of 330 seats in the seven provincial assemblies will be decided through direct voting, while the remaining 220 seats will be filled through proportional representation.
How is voting done in Nepal?
In Nepal elections, each voter will stamp four ballot papers and put them in separate boxes. One vote each for FPTP candidates for the federal parliament and provincial legislature, and one each for parties in the center and provinces. The number of votes polled by each party will determine the number of seats it receives in the central and provincial assemblies under the PR system. Nepal elections are somewhat similar to elections in Israel, where in order for a party to be recognized as a national party and secure seats under the PR, it must win at least one seat under the FPTP in the federal parliament and at least Must win with at least 3 percent of the vote. The Election Commission of Nepal has decided to hold a single-day election, despite fears of violence and rigging, as “it would be more practical and save money”.
Nepal’s unstable politics
Nepal’s politics has always been unstable and since 1990, Nepal has changed governments 32 times, especially in the last 14 years, Nepal has changed 10 governments, when the monarchy was abolished in 2008. The country’s leaders then made “collective promises of stable government, defense of democracy, and economic prosperity and corruption-free governance”. But, these promises have proved to be a complete failure and the leaders of Nepal have become badly infamous for corruption. Therefore, regarding the elections to be held this time too, most of the experts have deep doubts about the political instability.
Nepal Election: Parties, Alliances, Leaders
The elections to be held in Nepal will mainly be between two alliances. The ruling coalition is led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Nepali Congress (NC), with Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda’s Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Center (CPN-MC) and Madhav Kumar Nepal’s Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Socialist (CPN- ) Are included. The opposition coalition is led by the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) of former prime minister KP Sharma Oli, who is hoping to return to office after the elections. The UML has tied up with the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) on half a dozen seats. At the same time, the monarchist and Hindu nationalist RPP (under the FPTP system) is contesting more than 150 seats, with its election promise of making the country a Hindu nation again. Simultaneously smaller parties in the Terai have aligned with the two major coalitions, seeking a share of power by any means possible rather than seeking greater autonomy. At the same time, this time around 1,200 candidates are contesting as independents in the Nepal elections.
Deuba vs KP Sharma Oli
Sher Bahadur Deuba became the prime minister in July 2021 following an order by the Nepali Supreme Court, when the two-thirds majority government led by KP Sharma Oli split into several parts. KP Sharma Oli withdrew support from the Communist alliance with which he contested the elections. After which, after dissolving the house twice, the government was again formed with the support of President Vidya Devi Bhandari, but her government was in minority. Therefore, the Nepalese Supreme Court, terming both the dissolutions of the House as unconstitutional, directed the President to administer the oath of office to Sher Bahadur Deuba as the Prime Minister. Since then, Oli has been continuously condemning the Supreme Court and claiming to bring absolute majority in this election. No opposition is visible from inside Oli’s alliance, but the way is looking very difficult for Sher Bahadur Deuba. There have been voices against him from within the party and the coalition, including his own party’s general secretary Gagan Thapa, who has already staked claim to the prime minister’s post if the coalition returns to power. Deuba, 76, has been the Prime Minister of Nepal five times, while Oli and Prachanda have held the post twice each. The parties of Oli and Prachanda get extraordinary majority every time, but after forming the government, either the party breaks up, or the coalition disintegrates.
Deuba-Prachanda’s strange alliance
Nepal was burning in the fire of Maoism for many years and Prachanda led the struggle when Sher Bahadur Deuba used to be the Prime Minister of the country. Deuba himself narrowly escaped an attack by the Maoists, and at least 17,000 Nepalese were killed in the years of violence, most of whom were workers of Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Congress party. As PM, Deuba had also put a reward of lakhs on the heads of dozens of Maoist leaders, but now this Deuba and Prachanda are allies of each other. In November 2006, an agreement was reached between the government of Nepal and the Maoists, under which Maoist leaders are now able to stop investigations into violence and human rights violations against them if they come to power. But, now the Maoists have lost mass support in Nepal and Prachanda himself has changed his seat this time, which is a proof of his declining popularity. In the previous elections, 50 percent of the votes went to the communist parties, but at that time both the communist parties of Nepal came together, which are fighting separately this time.
Hindu nation has become a big issue
Nepal adopted communist ideology for years, but now the country’s young population is disillusioned with communist rule, hence the rise of nationalist parties. Especially RPP has spread the demand of Hindu Rashtra very fast in the country. Nepal is the arena of politics of opportunism and the RPP which wants to make the country a Hindu Rashtra is in political alliance with KP Sharma Oli, who has given controversial statements on Lord Ram several times and whose inclination towards Nepal is well known . Although, KP Sharma Oli has not yet supported the Hindu Rashtra, but in this election he has so far visited dozens of temples and made political speeches in support of Ram, with the aim of getting the vote of the country’s young population. To gain favor.
India’s eye on Nepal elections
India, which used to play a pivotal role in Nepal’s internal politics until 2005, lost its clout after collaborating with the Maoists, whom it had declared terrorists. At the same time, India played a role against the monarchy, which strongly supported India, and through which India controlled the politics of Nepal. But, India supported the Maoists of Nepal since 2005 and gradually India got completely out of Nepal’s politics. The point is that New Delhi currently does not have a single credible institutional ally in Nepal and China has taken advantage of this tremendously. Oli has promised to bring Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura in Uttarakhand under Nepal’s control if he wins. Oli’s new term may not be that different from his earlier two terms, which saw a deterioration in relations between India and Nepal. After changing the constitution in the year 2015, India did a lot to help Nepal financially and then in the year 2018, a territorial dispute broke out, which has also been taken advantage of by China.
How China became a big player in Nepal
As soon as India missed the opportunity in Nepal in the year 2005, China started cashing in on its share of opportunity with both hands. Since 2006, China has worked towards becoming a major player in Nepal and has increased its investments in several sectors. China tried to bring a government favorable to it in Kathmandu, and despite China’s efforts last time, the two major communist parties formed a government with a two-thirds majority, securing more than 50 percent of the vote. It is a different matter that later both the communist parties parted ways and the government fell. As tensions escalated with India, KP Sharma Oli’s government signed a trade and transit treaty with China in 2016. Simultaneously, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Nepal in October 2019 and this year also ahead of the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in September 2022, Li Zhanshu, head of the China National Assembly, held talks with Nepal’s communist leaders Prachanda and Oli. Had talks with big leaders, which shows the growing influence of China in Nepal.