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Nepal: communist KP Sharma Oli chosen to lead country

Nepal: communist KP Sharma Oli chosen to lead country

Nepal is an attractive market for Indian and Chinese goods, that’s why the prime minister appointment was the most popular topic in the region over several months. Mr Sharma Oli has chosen to lead Nepali government, reported IBTimes on Thursday.

In December, the presidential election was the first to be held since the end of Nepal’s civil war in 2008. This week, Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari has appointed moderate communist KP Sharma Oli as the next prime minister of the Himalayan state.

The 65-year-old prime minister will need to tread carefully. In recent years, India and China have poured investment into the small, but strategically important, nation, that sits astride the Himalayan mountains between the two giants, its neighbours.

Nepali market is very attractive for both China and India, the International Hydropower Association estimates the country’s commercially viable hydroelectric potential to be 43,000MW, of which only 753MW has so far been harnessed. Nepal offers a source of clean and affordable energy, a pressing concern for both neighbours.

The country is also struggling to recover from the 2015 earthquake that killed 9,000 people and caused around $10bn (£7.11bn) in damage, which amounts to approximately 50% of Nepal’s nominal GDP. Moreover, Nepali democracy has struggled to achieve stability since parliamentary representation was introduced in 1990. Just five years later, a Maoist insurgency took root in the nation’s countryside, sparking a 10-year civil war claiming the lives of 13,000 people.

“Oli is going to be pragmatic as prime minister to balance India and China,”

said Kunda Dixit, editor of the weekly Nepali Times.