UML still tops local polls despite poor showing in Province 2

Published On: September 23, 2017 08:11 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 22: The CPN-UML looks set to emerge as the largest party in the local polls despite the party’s poor show in Province 2 elections. 

As of Friday, the UML is trailing in the fifth position behind Nepali Congress, which has won chief positions in 24 local units, Maoist Center (13), Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) (11), and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN), which has won chief positions in 10 local units.

Of the 136 local units which went to polls on September 18, UML has won chief positions in eight units and is leading in 13 units.

However, UML is still leading the overall scoreboard backed by strong performance in the first two phases of the elections.  Overall score puts UML in the first position with 284 seats, while NC is trailing behind with 250 seats.  

NC, the closest rival, will still be short of at least two dozen seats even if the party wins all 12 local units where the party has maintained its lead now.

Similarly, CPN (Maoist Center) is in the distant third position with victory in 98 units. The party is leading in 13 units.

Vote count until Friday points to mixed outcomes with three major parties and two regional Madhes-based parties sharing over 90 percent of the votes.

Though the vote count is still underway in around a third of the local units, the trend shows UML is losing ground in Province 2. UML’s poor show in Province 2 has been attributed to the party’s rigid stance on constitution amendment. 

The Madhes-based parties, notably the FSFN and the RJPN, have done far better now compared to during the Constituent Assembly polls of 2013. Province 2 poll outcomes have come as a big boost to the two regional parties and raised hopes for strong performance in the planned provincial and parliamentary elections, said RJPN Vice Chair Brishesh Chandra Lal. 

The provincial and parliamentary polls are scheduled to be held simultaneously in two phases on November 26 and December 7. Madhesi leaders said the regional parties look forward to faring better than they did in the first Constituent Assembly elections in Province 2. Likewise, the Maoist Center has also done unexpectedly better. 

“We are satisfied with the poll results,” said CPN (Maoist Center) spokesperson Pampha Bhusal. 
Despite the bolstered performance by other regional parties, Province 2 polls have come as a major setback for the Bijaya Gachchhadhar-led Nepal Loktantrik Forum. 

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