Living in this fascinating country had lead me to focus on their current election. The communist insurgency ended in 2008 but there really hasn’t been effective government in Nepal since that time. There are signs that the election held a few weeks ago may have ended this nightmare. A coalition between the pro-India Congress Party and the centrist Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) seems plausible with the troublesome Maoists reduced to a tiny – though still influential – rump. The Maoists are lamely calling the elections a fraud and claiming that instead of an electeds parliament a consensus group reflecting the interests of all parties should vote on a new constitution. The arithmetic of the final vote count is important – a 2/3 majority of the new parliament must approve the new constitution. A hopeful sign is that the Maoists have agreed to participate in the new parliament “subject to conditions”.
This country needs strong central government. The road, public transport and energy sectors need massive coordinated investment. Not even the weakest argument for a libertarian free-for-all here. The externalities and lack of planning are obvious everywhere.