Nepal. United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF) left government cooperation in March. The decision was made in protest that the government did not make the constitutional changes they promised last year – and which would mean a stronger political representation for the Madheshi minority group. Despite the resignation, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s government had a majority in parliament. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for frequently used acronyms and abbreviations related to as well as country profile of Nepal.
For the first time in 20 years, local elections were held in Nepal during the spring and summer. The elections were held in several rounds, the first in May in three of Nepal’s provinces. The second round was held in the country’s southern provinces in June. Local elections were seen as an important step in completing democracy in the country.
According to Countryaah.com, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal announced in May that he would resign to be replaced by Sher Bahadur Deuba of the Nepalese Congress (NC). The resignation took place in accordance with an agreement in 2016 on rotation between the country’s two largest parties NC and UML until parliamentary elections are held.
Nepal in August criminalized a Hindu tradition called chhaupadi. The tradition means that women who are menstruating and women who have recently given birth are considered unclean and therefore have to sleep separated in a hut a bit from the dwelling house. Nor do the “unclean” women touch food, religious objects, livestock, or men. Chhaupadi was banned by the Supreme Court more than ten years ago, but has remained alive as the faith is deeply rooted and no rules of punishment exist. The new law meant that anyone who forces a woman to follow the custom will be punished with a fine and/or up to three months in prison.
The media reported in August that about 150 people died as a result of floods and landslides in Nepal. At the same time, a quarter of a million Nepalese had lost their homes. Around 20% of the country’s 28 million residents were estimated to have in some way been affected by the floods, which according to the UN were the worst in the country in 15 years.
In September, the last local elections were held in the country’s seventh province, which is dominated by the Madheshi minority group. The election was postponed after the Madheshi party RJPN in June called for a boycott. However, the pressure on RJPN to participate in local elections increased when some of its members jumped off the party to stand in the second round of elections in June.
During the last months of the year, parliamentary elections were held in two rounds, beginning in the northern provinces. A preliminary result indicated a landslide victory for an alliance between the party of the former Maoist rebels and the country’s largest communist party UML. Losers were the Nepalese Congress and its allies.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
Inland state of South Asia. The population (23,151,423 residents at the 2001 census) is growing at a rapid pace, with a consequent increase in the age group between 0 and 14 years (38.7 % in 2006). Rural settlements still clearly prevail over urban settlements (14 % in 2004): the greatest concentration of residents occurs in the area of the capital which, in addition to Kathmandu, includes the towns of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. Nepal remains one of the poorest states on earth; poverty is essentially determined by a feudal system based on a rigid division into castes as well as by a strong economic inequality. Political instability and the persistence of the conflict between central power and Maoist guerrillas (see History) also contributes to this, causing numerous victims and enormous damage to agricultural resources.
The main productive activities are agriculture, which contributes for just under 40 % to the formation of national income and tourism, which has established itself thanks to the presence of an artistic-cultural and religious context of great interest and thanks to the presence of 8 of the 14 peaks of the world over 8000 meters. In 2004, a plant on the Kali Gandaki river (144 MW) was inaugurated, the first implementation of a detailed plan to exploit the country’s high hydroelectric potential. In 2003, a total of 2512 were produced millions of kWh, of which a good part has found a natural commercial outlet in neighboring India. A substantial part of the income of the Nepal comes from the financial support of international organizations (14 % of GDP in 2003) and from the remittances of the approximately 700,000 Nepalese who work abroad. According to some analysts, only an effective exploitation of scarce resources and the development of an agri-food industry with a regional vocation would make it possible to reach an average growth rate of 4-5 % per year which, according to the World Bank, would allow the country to emerge from the emergency. in few years.