December 13, 2017 06:22 AM NPT
By: Ashok Dahal
KATHMANDU, Dec 13: Of the total 165 lawmakers in parliament to be elected under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) category, at least 40 percent are going to be new faces. In the 275-member lower house, 110 members are to be nominated under the proportional representation (PR) category after the allocation of PR seats to political parties on the basis of the PR votes they secured across the country.
According to the election results as of late night Tuesday, 67 new faces have emerged victorious. Vote counting for the remaining four constituencies is still underway and new faces are leading against established leaders in two of them.
Most of the winning new faces are from CPN-UML, followed by CPN (Maoist Center), Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN), Nepali Congress (NC) and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN).
CPN-UML will have at least 39 fresh lawmakers in the incoming parliament and the Maoists 11. FSFN will have eight new faces in the total of 10 seats it has won. NC and RJPN have four fresh faces each so far and RPP has one.
Most of these first-timers have breached the strongholds of heavyweights or multiple-time lawmakers of the major parties. With many senior NC leaders losing the polls, new faces have emerged in their place.
Krishna Kumar Shrestha is among the newcomers defeating the heavyweights. Shrestha succeeded against NC senior leader and former speaker Ram Chandra Paudel in Tanahun-1.
Likewise, Hit Bahadur Tamang succeeded in defeating many times finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat in Nuwakot-1 in his third consecutive attempt. Narayan Prasad Khatiwada emerged victorious in constuituency 2 against former minister Arjun Narsingh KC. Nuwakot, which was an NC stronghold for years, is now sending all fresh faces to parliament.
Padam Giri of CPN-UML has made it to parliament defeating three times NC lawmaker Arjun Joshi in Parbat. Hem Kumar Rai is a fresh face from Solukhumbu, where he defeated former minister and influential NC leader Bal Bahadur KC. Likewise, former Maoist commander Chakrapani Khanal aka Baldev defeated former NC minister and ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay in Kapilvastu-1.
Rajendra Lingden of Rastriya Prajatantra Party is also appearing in parliament for the first time, after defeating influential NC leader and former minister Krishna Sitaula in Jhapa-3. Former student leader Nar Bahadur Dhami made it to parliament defeating former minister NP Saud of NC in Kanchanpur-2, while another former student leader and security analyst Deepak Prakash Bhatta defeated many-times NC minister Ramesh Lekhak in Kanchanpur-3.
Some of the fresh faces defeated incumbent ministers. Krishna Rai defeated Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Minister Ambika Basnet in Kathmandu-3. Agriculture Minister Ram Krishna Yadav lost to fresh candidate Uma Shankar Aragriya of FSFN in Dhanusa-2.