Nepalis to choose new parliament after end of a civil war

FILE PHOTO: Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 23, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Vastavam web: Nepalis vote on Sunday to choose a new parliament and seven state assemblies hoping to end years of fickle coalitions and complete a tumultuous transition, more than a decade after the end of a civil war.The two-phase election is also expected to determine the path the country takes in balancing ties with China and India, both of whom are pushing hard to expand influence in the buffer state.
About 15.4 million eligible voters are tasked to pick a 275-member parliament 165 through first-past-the-post and 110 through proportional representation the first under a new constitution agreed after years of wrangling.“These elections will … firmly put the country on the path of stability and prosperity,” Deuba, the country’s tenth prime minister in as many years, told.
Political analysts say that the left alliance is likely to open up the country further to Chinese investments if they were to come to power in the election.Already, the UML has said it would hand back the country’s biggest hydro-electric project to China after the Deuba-government, seen as more pro-India, cancelled the deal citing lapses in the contract.
Soon after the cancellation of the deal, the chairman of Indian state-run power company NHPC Ltd said it could bid for the project, underlining Delhi’s attempts to claw back ground in a country which it has long considered its backyard.“The performance of the two largest communist parties in the elections could determine the course of Chinese investment in infrastructure projects in Nepal,” said Guna Raj Luintel, editor of the Nagarik daily.