KATHMANDU, Oct 24:Over half of those elected in the first-phase parliamentary elections scheduled for November 26 are likely to be old faces. Over 36 former lawmakers from the major political parties are contesting 37 constituencies in 32 hill and mountain districts.
Both the left and Nepali Congress-led alliances have fielded around 50 percent old faces for the first phase parliamentary polls. The NC-led alliance has fielded 19 former parliamentarians while the UML-led left alliance has fielded at least 17 former lawmakers. In addition, some individuals in both alliances who have been defeated in two or more consecutive elections in the past are also in the fray.
The NC-led alliance has the most number of repeat candidates including some who have contested and served as lawmakers most repeatedly. Ram Saran Mahat, Arjun Narsing KC, Bal Bahadur KC, Mohan Bahadur Basnet and Bhisma Raj Aangdambe, who are all contesting the upcoming parliamentary polls, have been candidaes or served as parliamentarians most repeatedly.
Likewise, NC's lawmakers in the recent parliament Tek Bahadur Gurung, Saraswati Bajimaya, Rajeev Bikram Shahi, Romi Gauchan Thakali, Amar Singh Pun, Dilman Pakhrin, Champa Devi Khadka, Dil Bahadur Gharti, Chin Kaji Shrestha, Ram Hari Khatiwada and Dipak Khadka are also contesting the upcoming polls. Former NC MP Hasta Bahadur Malla is contesting again after a gap of two decades. Former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and veteran Rastriya Prajatantra Democratic leader Pashupati SJB Rana are contesting from the NC-led alliance. Rana was defeated in the last two elections from Sindhupalchowk district.
Most of the repeat candidates in the left alliance are from the Maoist party, while UML has also fielded recent lawmakers in most of the districts. Maoist former lawmakers Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Dev Gurung, Barsha Man Pun, Devendra Paudel and others are running also although they failed to get elected in the 2013 Constituent Assembly (CA) election. Agni Sapkota and Janardan Sharma are candidates for the third time since the first CA election in 2008. Maoist lawmakers Shakti Bahadur Basnet and Shyam Kumar Shrestha are contesting for second terms.
Likewise, UML lawmakers in the recently dissolved parliament Bishal Bhattarai, Parbat Gurung, Ganesh Singh Thagunna, Dhan Bahadur Budha, Yagya Raj Sunuwar, Janardan Dhakal and Sher Bahadur Tamang are contesting for parliament again. UML leader Yogesh Bhattarai, who was defeated from Kathmandu, and Maoist Hit Bahadur Tamang, who was defeated twice in the last two elections, are contesting from Taplejung in the upcoming parliamentary polls.