Office Pool Nepal – 2066

2065 will be remembered as the year that optimism turned to frustration and rage in Nepal. There were also plenty of surprises for amateur seers: I got the election results wildly wrong, for example. How did your predictions turn out?

Come take a dip in the New Year pool, inspired by 35 years of William Safire’s annual predictions in the New York Times. As he points out, “Only those daring to play now can claim hooting rights later.”

Choose one answer, multiple answers, or none.

1. By the end of 2066, the PLA members currently in cantonments will be:

(a) Mostly integrated into the Army and other national security forces

(b) Twiddling their thumbs just as they are now

(c) Out in the streets or back to the jungle

(d) At home, having gotten tired of waiting for integration

2. In one year the government will comprise:

(a) Essentially the same mix of parties as at present

(b) A more inclusive coalition, including the NC

(c) The Maoists only

(d) A UML-NC coalition, with the Maoists in opposition

(e) Army-backed rightists and royalists

3. During 2066, at least one major road in the country will be closed by strikes and bandhs for:

(a) 30 days or fewer

(b) 31-60 days

(c) 60-180 days

(d) More than 180 days

4. Next year electrical load-shedding will:

(a) Continue year-round

(b) Become 4-hours on / 24-hours off next winter

(c) Turn into a hot-button issue that drives mass public protests by the end of the year

(d) Lead to talks about restructuring the Ministry of Water Resources into a public-private partnership

5. In 2066, the economy will:

(a) Grow more than 5%

(b) Grow a little

(c) Stagnate

(d) Decline a little

(e) Decline a lot

6. In 2066, tourism will:

(a) Grow handsomely

(b) Do OK

(c) Decline because of domestic political problems

(d) Decline because of worldwide economic problems

7. Petrol and gas cylinder prices 12 months from now will be:

(a) Rs 130 / Rs 1,825

(b) Rs 100 / Rs 1,300

(c) Rs 70 / Rs 1,000

(d) Rs 55 / Rs 800

(e) What petrol and gas cylinders?

8. The US Dollar exchange rate 12 months from now will be:

(a) 50 – the inexplicably strong dollar will collapse due to the US economic problems

(b) 65 – the Indian economy will strengthen

(c) 80 – nothing will change much

(d) 100 – the dollar stands as relatively safe refuge during a global depression

(e) Over 100 – the peg to the Indian Rupee will be adjusted in a desperate attempt to promote exports and investment

9. The number of prominent public figures who will be imprisoned for corruption or human rights violations in 2066 is:

(a) More than ten

(b) A few

(c) Zero

10. In 2066 the YCL:

(a) Will be restructured to be less paramilitary

(b) Will be given a face-lift to make it appear less paramilitary

(c) Will act independently of the politburo and prime minister

(d) Will patch up relations with the Youth Force

(e) Will turn less militant as it uses power for economic ends instead of political ones

11) The CA will complete its work and present a constitution for ratification in:

(a) 2066

(b) 2067

(c) 2068

(d) Never

12. In 2066 the Terai parties will:

(a) Fail to work together effectively

(b) Get little satisfaction from the government on immediate issues

(c) Be unable to achieve their key demands for a new constitution

(d) Resort to increasingly un-civil behavior to try to gain leverage

13. Net foreign investment in Nepal in 2066 will:

(a) Be buoyed by a liberal policy in the new budget for Non-Resident Nepali investments

(b) Crash to negative figures as new investment dries up and major joint-ventures leave the country

(c) Stagnate

14. Which political party will undergo the most internal change in 2066?

(a) The Maoists, due to a fundamental split between pragmatists and hard-liners

(b) The Nepali Congress, with the end of the Girija era

(c) The UML, which will discover both principle and backbone after a revolt by mid-level cadres

(d) A new party, formed in frustration by centrist politicians and civic activists not currently in politics

15.) The biggest social trend of 2066 in Kathmandu will be:

(a) A return to family values as energy shortages and strikes keep families at home

(b) Going out to inexpensive local restaurants to escape electricity and cooking-gas shortages

(c) Going green: people well-off enough to have solar panels, electric vehicles and energy-efficient lighting will popularize the trend

(d) Social activism as ordinary citizens join pressure groups and public protests in frustration


My picks: 1 (b) and (d), about equally; 2 (b); 3 (d); 4 (all); 5 (d); 6 (c) and (d); 7 (b) and (e); 8 (d); 9 (c); 10 (none); 11 (c); 12 (all); 13 (b); 14 (b), but fingers crossed for (d) too; 15 (c)

John Child is The NewsBlaze Nepal Correspondent, a journalist in Kathmandu who writes about goings-on in and around Nepal and her neighbors.

John Child
John Child is The NewsBlaze Nepal Correspondent, a journalist in Kathmandu who writes about goings-on in and around Nepal and her neighbors.