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World
18 Apr 2017

Nepal local elections: China beats India to delivering assistance

As Nepal is preparing to conduct its local body elections after a 10 year hiatus, China on Monday came as an early bird with poll assistance to Nepal.

Chinese assistance comes in the wake of Indian silence towards Nepal's request for assistance.

Pending confirmation on further assistance from India, Nepal is set to begin polls on 14 May amidst opposition from Madhesis.

In context

Nepal elections: China is first to deliver assistance
What has China offered?

Details

What has China offered?

During Nepal's PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal's visit last month, China had promised monetary assistance worth nine million Yuan, along with assistance in goods to conduct Nepal's local elections.

Chinese ambassador Yu Hong handed out material including pens, punching machines, calculators and scales at a function in Kathmandu.

Election Commission of Nepal said "30,000 ballot boxes would arrive from China in a day or two".

Nepal's requests met with silence from India

Election Commission states "Nepal had requested 1000 vehicles... from India. We're not sure if we're getting them or not. Nepal had also requested for supply of special ink used to mark fingers. India had previously provided Nepal election material and 750 vehicles in 2013 elections."

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History

Why are these elections important?

Nepal suffered civil war waged by Maoists from 1996 to 2006, until the end of the monarchy, in which more than 17,000 people are said to have been killed. Nepal has continued its quest for democracy ever since.

Although a consensus was tried to arrive at through a 2015 constitution, the Madhesis rejected the same alleging it concentrated power in hands of only elites.

Analysis

Growing Chinese Influence in Nepal

Chinese assistance to Prachanda's Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) government has come amidst strengthening Beijing-Kathmandu ties. China is seen to be pro-Prachanda. Moreover, conduct of elections in Nepal is dependent on the government's ability to get pro-India Madhesis on board.

China is competing with India for influence in Nepal. Failure to deliver assistance to Nepal puts India one step behind in this regard.

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