Ruling party split overshadows political stability in Nepal

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Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli File photo: Xinhua

Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved parliament on Sunday at the request of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s office and announced that general elections would be held in April and May 2021 (more than a year ahead of schedule), according to reports. media.

The Nepalese Communist Party (NCP), the ruling party of the country, is currently embroiled in a feud within the party. The Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) announced their unification in 2018. Oli and former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal are both chairmen. Since the merger of their respective parties, the division of power between Oli and Dahal remains a key issue, with several agreements ultimately not being resolved.

There have been several clashes between the two leaders. These internal disputes seem unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. The two presidents refuse to budge. It was reported in July that Dahal and a majority of the secretariat and standing committee had called for Oli’s resignation as prime minister and president, citing his inability. Oli categorically refused.

In this context, in order to avoid any unfavorable situation, Oli decided to dissolve the parliament and organize new elections. As President Bhandari and Oli were both members of the CPN-UML, Bhandari quickly approved Oli’s request.

When the CPN-UML and the CPN Maoist Center merged, Nepal and the international community expected Nepal to usher in a period of political stability. Previously, frequent changes of government in Nepal seriously undermined the social stability and economic growth of the country. Unfortunately, the country risks relapsing into political instability only after just two years.

The results show that the merger of the two Nepalese communist parties has not yet been fully achieved. The forces led by Oli and Dahal could split the current Communist Party into two parties. This is unfavorable to the political stability of the country and to the Communist Party as a whole. A third party, like the Nepalese Congress, a social democratic political party in Nepal, can profit from this chaos.

The dissolution of parliament can also cause great upheaval. Elections will take place in the first half of 2021, and the outcome will be very uncertain. If the NCP divides, the voices of the different forces will become very dispersed. Nepalese politics could fall back into a former state of uncertainty and instability.

No party in the country will be able to win more than half of the seats in parliament. A coalition government will emerge, as before, which will lead to an unequal distribution of interests. Defection could occur at any time, resulting in a short-lived government.

When the Hindustan Times newspaper covered this news, it made an effort to link the situation to China, noting that this situation “also hurts China.” He also accused China of interfering in Nepal’s internal affairs and internal Communist Party disputes.

The post appears to have a long-term tactic to drive a wedge between China and Southeast Asian countries. China does not interfere in the internal affairs of Nepal – or any other country for that matter.

Of course, China hopes Nepal can have a stable government that doesn’t change too frequently for everyone to benefit. This also includes Sino-Nepalese relations.

In fact, China has no preference as to the identity of the ruling party, but only hopes that Nepal will have a stable government. China has not aided, coerced or pressured any ruling party in Nepal. It was India that put pressure on Nepal, in particular by setting up a blockade. China’s coordinating role should not be seen as interfering in Nepal’s domestic politics. The accusations on the Indian side are baseless.

Indian media often provoke Sino-Nepalese relations, but it will not send big waves. Nepalese politicians fully understand the importance of cooperating with China. The incisive maneuvers of certain Indian media are doomed to failure.

The author is a senior researcher at the Academy of Regional and Global Governance, Peking University of Foreign Studies and President of the Chengdu Institute of World Affairs. [email protected]


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