South Asia and Beyond

‘Deuba’s Victory Does Not Guarantee Political Stability In Nepal’

NEW DELHI: The counting of votes is still underway in Nepal after elections on Sunday, but the trends are clear: incumbent Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s party the Nepali Congress is leading or has won in 70 seats. He is expected to return as prime minister but does that mean all’s well?

In this chat on The Gist, Vijay Kant Karn, executive chairman of the Kathmandu-based think tank Centre for Social Inclusion & Federalism, argues that political uncertainty will likely continue.

This is because Deuba’s alliance partner Prachanda of the Maoist Centre, whose party has lost considerable electoral ground, may not achieve his ambition of becoming prime minister. That could persuade China to redouble its efforts to unify the communist parties behind former PM KP Sharma Oli of the UML. Prachanda maybe suitably incentivized to rejoin Oli, admittedly a difficult task given that the latter had denied him the prime minister’s job two years ago. China’s moves, therefore, need watching.

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India is probably glad that Deuba has won but will be careful not to show its support too openly. This is in keeping with its policy of maintaining a low profile in Nepal, which has helped reduce criticism of Delhi.

Tune in for more in this chat with Vijay Kant Karn.