Nepal Elects New President

    Nepal Elects New President
    Last updated Mar 10, 2023
    Image credit: aljazeera


    • On Thursday, Nepalese lawmakers elected Ram Chandra Poudel as president as the country faces political instability with a fragile coalition government that has been in power for only a few months.[1]
    • 884 federal parliament and provincial assembly members gathered in the Nepali capital of Kathmandu to vote between two career politicians: Poudel, the senior leader of the Nepali Congress (NC) party, and Subash Chandra Nembang of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist).[2]
    • Poudel won the largely ceremonial position, adding president to his long list of governmental positions. He has served as House speaker, has been a six-time lawmaker, and held a ministerial position five times.[3]
    • The election sparked a feud among partners in the governing alliance headed by PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who took office in December. Dahal supported Poudel, angering his main coalition partner, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML), which backed Nembang.[4]
    • The UML is the second largest party in parliament and was a member of the ruling alliance until Feb. 27, pulling out of the government after Dahal's Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) refused to support a UML presidential nominee, leading to political turmoil.[5]
    • Dahal has since lost the support of two other key political parties and faces a vote of confidence later this month. His government is also facing a variety of other issues, including a struggle to recover from pandemic-related economic troubles and balancing tense relations between its two neighbors: India and China.[1]


    Anti-China narrative

    The recent turbulence in Nepal's political atmosphere marks an unfavorable turn for China, which had sought to capitalize on a deepening relationship between Nepal's communist bloc. Its desperate attempt to exploit a friendly government under Dahal is far from over, however, as it will now broaden its strategy beyond just the communist parties, with a new focus on the NC party in order to secure its hegemonic foothold in the nation.

    Pro-China narrative

    While this election has certainly caused economic turmoil, Nepali-Chinese relations won't be affected, as major parties in Nepal have all been clear that Kathmandu must maintain good relationships with both the PRC and India. Exchanges with Beijing mean tangible benefits to Nepalis, including high-quality cooperation in investment, infrastructure, and other areas.

    Establishment split



    More neutral establishment stance articles

    Sign up to our newsletter!