Ethnic parties in eastern hills lose election deposits in their own strongholds

Published On: July 15, 2017 01:38 AM NPT By: Bhim Chapagain

ILAM, July 14: Ethnicity-based fringe parties, which have their stronghold in the eastern hill districts, have lost their election deposits in their own bastion after failing to secure even 10% of the votes in the elections. Such an election result was unexpected as popularity of such parties has been on the rise in the region of late.

The election results show that identity-based parties, who have recently intensified their protests, have started losing the favor of the locals. Losing the election deposit in their strongholds has been a wake-up call for those parties, who only chant slogans of ethnicity most of the times but remain without their own identity during elections.

Sanghiya Limbuwan Manch , Khumbuwan Rastriya Morcha and Rastriya Janamukti Party are just a few examples of such parties. Likewise, more established parties like Federal Socialist Forum Nepal also lost many of its strongholds in the eastern region during the recently concluded second phase of elections. They did not just simply lose the elections but lost embarrassingly as they could not even claim their election deposits.

The parties failed terribly in the local units at Ilam, Panchthar, Taplejung, Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur and Terhathum districts. At the most, their victories were limited to winning wards and failed to make any impact by securing positions of chiefs and deputy chiefs.
Sanghiya Limbuwan Manch , a party formed by the merger of various ethnic-based fringe parties, registered a win in one ward of Ilam and two wards of Taplejung. It claimed victory in Chulachuli Rural Municipality-1 of Ilam. However, it could not win a single position in other 81 wards throughout the district.

In Taplejung, the party emerged victorious in wards 4 and 6 of Sirijunga Rural Municipality. It did not win the chief and deputy chief in any of the district's eight rural municipalities and one municipality. Panchthar district has one municipality and seven rural municipalities, with a total of 60 wards. The party did not win even a single ward in the district.

Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have emerged victorious in most of the local units of the three districts.

The party's chairman Kumar Lingden said they failed to secure victory due to insufficient time to prepare for the elections. “It is not that the issue of identities has weakened, it is instead getting stronger. However, as the other parties too fielded ethnic candidates, we suffered setbacks,” he said.

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