India welcomes Nepal polls

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 15, 2017-India said on Thursday it welcomes the recently held elections in Nepal and that it looks forward to working with the next democratically elected government in Nepal.

“India welcomes the conduct of parliamentary elections and first ever provincial elections in Nepal. We congratulate the government and the people of Nepal,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said during a weekly MEA press briefing in New Delhi on Thursday. 

Nepal held the House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly elections, first since the adoption of the new constitution in September 2015, in two phases on November 26 and December 7, capping the country’s 11-year-long transition from the monarchy to federal democracy. “India has age-old, unique, time-tested ties of friendship with the country. We look forward to working with the next democratically elected government in Nepal to advance our close and multifaceted partnership across all sectors, and to support Nepal in its pursuit of peace, stability, economic prosperity and all-round development,” Kumar said.

With the left alliance of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) completing a clean sweep under the first-past-the-post system voting and leading in the proportional representation ballot count, UML Chairman KP Oli appears set to return to power. 

New Delhi had given a terse response to Nepal’s adoption of the new constitution two years ago, saying in a statement that India “noted” the constitution promulgation in Nepal. An unofficial blockade imposed by India had led souring of ties between the two countries. 

As the exercise to form a new government under UML Chairman Oli is just about to begin, some political observers say the new dispensation in Kathmandu under the left alliance could show its inclination towards China, with which Oli during his earlier stint as the prime minister had signed some landmark trade and transit deals in a bid to reduce Nepal’s dependency on India. It, however, remains to be seen how the next government will build its relations with the two giant neighbours. 

Published: 15-12-2017 07:50

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