Nepal’s Democracy Faces a Year of High-Stakes Tests

Nepalese protesters clash with police as the parliament debated a proposed $500 million U.S. aid grant, Kathmandu, Nepal, Feb. 20, 2022 (AP photo by Niranjan Shreshta).
Nepalese protesters clash with police as the parliament debated a proposed $500 million U.S. aid grant, Kathmandu, Nepal, Feb. 20, 2022 (AP photo by Niranjan Shreshta).

Nepal’s recent political turmoil put its internal divisions in the spotlight and raised questions of where the country stands 16 years after the end of its civil conflict and five years after the first elections held under its new federalist constitution. Ostensibly a dispute over whether or not to accept a U.S. aid package—a $500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation, or MCC, grant first initialed in 2017—the crisis saw years of indecision, polarization, disinformation and recently violent protests before Parliament eventually ratified the grant in February. The protracted ordeal over what was seemingly a straightforward development grant exposed deep cracks in […]

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