Nepal. A week-long strike in May, led by the Maoist
Party, marked the beginning of a long political crisis. The
Maoists, who themselves led a short-lived government in
2008-09, claimed that the government did not have the
people's support and had failed to commit to give the
country a new constitution. According to the Temporary
Constitution, the Provisional Parliament would have
presented a permanent constitution and then dissolved at the
end of May. Now, it was forced to extend its mandate by one
year since Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal gave in to the
pressure and filed his resignation.
In July, Parliament's deadline for a new government
expired. According to
Nepal has a population of 28.09 million (2018). The president ordered the politicians to agree on a
majority government, but no agreement could be reached.
During the second half of the year, a large number of
unprofitable polls were held on a new government leader.
After seven votes, Maoist leader and former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, "Prachanda", withdrew his candidacy to
increase the chances of creating a new party constellation
that could gather a majority. But not even when only one
candidate, representing the Nepalese Congress Party,
remained, could the issue be resolved. At each subsequent
vote, a large majority of the members cast their votes.
The deadlock did not only risk damaging the fragile peace
process after many years of civil war. The country's economy
was also threatened by the paralysis. Only in December could
Parliament deal with the state budget after the president
forced a budget session through decrees. The EU, the World
Bank and other donors warned that important development
projects would stall without a political solution, saying it
could be difficult to explain to taxpayers in the West why
their money should go to squabbling Nepalese, when needs are
at least as great in other countries.
One political veteran who did not experience the
deepening crisis was four-time Prime Minister Girija Prasad
Koirala, who died in March 86 years old.