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Nepal votes in final phase of elections on Thursday

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Nepal election

Photo: AP

Today, southern Nepalese will cast their vote in the second phase of national and state elections.

It’s hoped that today’s vote will complete Nepal’s democratic transition by implementing the new 2015 constitution designed to put a painful history to rest; a decade of civil war, which claimed the lives of 18,000, ended in 2006. However, a spate of unclaimed bombings have stoked fears of renewed violence.

These elections will determine the level of Indian influence in the country. Following Nepal’s constitutional reforms, relations have been strained since India blockaded their mutual border over the Madhesi people’s apparent underrepresentation. China has since capitalised on Nepal’s reliance on bilateral infrastructure deals, increasing its political and economic clout.

Results from recent local elections indicate the Chinese-friendly alliance of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninists and Maoist Centre will likely overtake the ruling centrist National Congress to form a government under the anti-Indian nationalist, KP Sharma Oli.

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