Candidates head into election campaigns carrying flags and symbols of other parties

Published On: June 21, 2017 12:50 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KHOTANG, June 21: With the conclusion filing candidacy for the second phase elections, political parties have now focused their energies on election campaigns. Just like in the first phase of the polls, multi-party electoral alliances have been formed in various local units. The only difference this time, however, is that they have tried new antics by carrying a common party flag to support their common candidates.

The second phase of the elections, which will take place in provinces 1, 5 and 7, is slated for June 28. As the election is now just seven days away, many political parties in various local units of Khotang district have intensified their election campaigns by carrying party flag of the main alliance so as to make the promotion campaign more effective.

In Rupakot Majhuwagadhi Municipality-8, Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) has forged a four-party electoral alliance with Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (Maoist Center) and Naya Shakti. They have fielded common candidate, Gajendra Rai, as ward member from FSFN. Although he is supposed to promote his party symbol 'torch in hand' in the campaign, he carries Nepali Congress' tree symbol instead seeking votes.

Likewise, Rai's competitor from the ruling coalition CPN (Maoist Center) is also headed to election campaign by carrying NC's flag and election symbol. Maoist Center's candidate Kanti Shrestha and Jayanti Darjee visit households with NC's flag and appeal voters to vote for them. 

Such unusual scenes were made possible only due to the formation of electoral alliance between NC, Maoist Center, FSFN and Naya Shakti Nepal in Rupakot Majuwaghadi-8. The alliance has agreed the common candidacy of NC's Gopal Singh Rai as the ward's chief. 

As per their agreement, NC will get the seat of ward chief and one ward member, while the alliance of FSFN and Naya Shakti will get one seat each as ward member and two seats have been allocated for Maoist Center.

The electoral alliance was formed to sideline the main opposition CPN-UML. In the previous elections too, the ruling coalition of Maoist Center and NC had formed alliance in various vital local units to increase their chances of victory against the UML. However, many of such alliances had failed terribly in the first phase of the local elections.

“Carrying multiple party flags had only confused the voters in the first phase of the elections, prompting failure in many local units. This time around, we are trying out this strategy after learning lessons from the past,” said Rai, FSFN's ward member candidate.

Likewise, FSFN is campaigning in Rupakot Majuwagadhi-7 by carrying the flag and symbol of Maoist Center. As per their electoral alliance, Maoist Center's Hari Prasad Chaulagain will be supported for ward chief and the party's Krishna Thapa as ward member, while FSFN's Tika Ram Rai, Indra Kumari Rai and Som Maya Sunar will be backed as ward members.

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