South Asia Monitor: Nepal: Stability at Last? - June 1, 1999
June 1, 1999
Following the elections completed on May 17, K. P. Bhattarai has been named Nepal's prime minister with a clear Nepali Congress majority. This may presage a more stable environment for tackling the country's problems. After centuries of real isolation, protected and secluded by the Himalayas, Nepal has made a difficult transition to democratic government, with broad participation in elections but highly confrontational politics and frequent changes of government. Its link to the outside is chiefly through India, its exposure to the industrialized world primarily through tourism. The real determinants of Nepal's future, however, remain much more fundamental: educating its isolated and extremely poor villagers, providing decent governance, mobilizing the country's energy resources, and overcoming the tremendous natural barriers to transportation and communication.