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.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 79,190,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||7.90%|
|GDP per capita||2,700 USD|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||25.2%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||-6.30%|
|National debt||26.40% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 8,668,000,000|
|Number of visitors||790,000|
In July, Parliament’s deadline for a new government expired. According to COUNTRYAAH, 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.