July 11, 2017 12:10 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, July 11: CPN-UML continued its dominance in the second phase of local elections with near-final poll results positioning it well ahead of its main rivals- Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center).
Vote counting has concluded in all local units except Dharan Sub-metropolitan City that held polls on June 28.
The outcome so far has put UML in the first position with victory in 150 local units, with NC and the Maoist Center following it in the second and distant third positions with 122 and 38 seats respectively.
UML won 125 seats in the first phase of local polls, while its closest rival NC won 104 seats. Result of Bharatpur Metropolitan City is yet to come through.
Outcomes of the first two phases of local polls have bolstered UML's chance of being the largest party at the local level. Eight districts of Province 2 are yet to hold local polls.
UML leaders said that they are satisfied with the performance.
“We were expecting to win in somewhere between 145 to 155 seats. The results came as per our expectations,” said UML Secretary Pradip Gyawali. He said that several factors including, nationalistic agendas, better organization and selection of candidates propelled the party to the first position.
Except UML, no other parties appear satisfied with their performance. NC, the largest party in terms of seats won in parliament, appears even more upset with the results. The party suffered painful defeat in areas it considers its stronghold including Dang valley and much of the local units in the Far Western Region.
The party also failed to achieve expected success in eastern districts across Arun River.
Though (Maoist Center) leaders appear satisfied with party's performance in the rural areas, it suffered setback in urban areas.
“The party will have to work from scratches in urban areas while expanding its influence in rural base. We will now work in that direction,” said Maoist Center Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal.
Similarly, the fringe parties' overall performances look equally dismal. Rastriya Prajatantra Party, the fourth largest force in term of its strength in the parliament, won just four seats. The Federal Socialist Forum Nepal and Nepal Loktantrik Forum have won six and eight seats respectively.