Leftist alliance between Maoist rebels and moderate communists appears for election victory

Sealed ballot boxes are pictured inside the city hall as officials start counting the votes, a day after the parliamentary and provincial elections in Kathmandu, Nepal December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
Vastavam web:  A leftist alliance between Nepal’s former Maoist rebels and moderate 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.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.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.
“Trends so far suggest they could win a two-thirds majority. If that happened, that will be a landslide win,” Luintel said.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 decided by proportional representation.