Nepal. According to
Countryaah official website, new elections to Parliament in May ended a long
period of weak governments. The Nepali Congress Party (NCP)
received about 60% of the votes (111 out of Parliament's 205
seats) and was thus able to form its own government. Krishna
Prasad Bhattarai, who had the same post in 1990-91, was
appointed Prime Minister. Despite the ongoing Maoist
uprising, the elections were conducted in orderly form.
In its first budget, the new government offered loans at
low interest rates and other economic lures to the poor,
hoping to get the Maoists to lay down their weapons.
However, the clashes continued and are believed to have
claimed at least 900 people's lives since 1996. Among those
reported to have been killed was Suresh Wagle, a member of
the Maoist Party Politburo.
A government proposal for a new anti-terrorist law was
criticized by the opposition and human rights organizations.
The law would give the police great powers to, inter alia,
conduct home investigations and give local administrators
the right to prosecute suspected terrorists. In August, the
Supreme Court ordered the government to appoint a human
rights commission. However, a decision on this was made by
Parliament as early as 1997.