India - Nepal: Results Positive for India
Asia News Agency
Results of elections point to the Nepali Congress-led ruling alliance retaining office. However, in the view of The Indian Express, “the trends suggest a divided polity with voters refusing to give a decisive mandate to any party. The CPN-UML, the main opposition group, too will have a substantial presence in the federal parliament. The impressive performance of the pro-monarchy Rashtriya Prajatantra Party and the rise of the Rashtriya Swatantra Party, a party of young activists set up in June this year, point to the presence of a range of ideological strands in an extremely competitive electoral space. This proliferation of political views and the successful conduct of an election under a contentious constitution augurs well for Nepal.”
Endorsement of the leadership of PM Deuba
The results are also an endorsement of the leadership of NC chief Sher Bahadur Deuba who had negotiated a coalition with CPN-Maoists and CPN-Unified Socialists to form the government. Deuba steered the government to a middle-path from the perceived pro-China stance of the Oli administration.
This is important, writes The Indian Express, as “Nepal’s fiercely nationalistic populace is clearly uncomfortable with outsiders dictating terms to Kathmandu. Deuba has skillfully stayed away from aligning too closely with either New Delhi or Beijing, or for that matter with the Americans and Europeans. The challenge for Deuba is to stay on this middle-path and craft an economic agenda that can address the developmental concerns of his country…..
India has found it easier to do business with the Deuba-led coalition in the past: Under Oli, Kathmandu had become closer to Beijing.