FSFN, RJPN hope for better showing in upcoming polls

Published On: October 18, 2017 05:15 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Oct 18: The Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) and Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) have decided to field fifty percent candidates each in Province 2, while the sharing of constituencies elsewhere would be based on their respective strength.  

The two parties, which have announced to jointly contest the upcoming provincial and parliamentary elections, are also in negotiations with the Nepali Congress to explore the possibility of a broader alliance. With the formation of the left alliance between the UML and CPN (Maoist Center), the NC and the Madhes-based parties have felt the need to form their own alliance.

Leaders said that the constituencies adjustments between RJPN and FSFN will remain unchanged even if the parties forge an electoral alliance with the NC. 

"If the outcome of the local polls is anything to go by, our strength in Province 2 is equal. That's why the constituencies would be divided equally in the province. We will assist each other elsewhere on need basis," said FSFN Co Chair Rajendra Shrestha. 

RJPN and FSFN had won 26 seats each in the local polls in Province 2. The number, if combined together, is far higher than the seats won by Nepali Congress, which emerged as the largest party from Province 2 polls. 

In addition to the seats won in Province 2, Upendra Yadav's FSFN also won nine seats in the western plains, more than other regional parties. 

This makes them the two regional forces favorite to form provincial government in the plains-only province. RJPN and FSFN leaders said that the alliance has ensured victory in at least fifty percent seats in Province 2. 

"Neither of the two parties had organization at the grassroots before the local polls. But we still managed to do better than the major parties. There is every reason to believe that our performance will improve in the upcoming polls," said FSFN Vice Chair Brishesh Chandra Lal. Leaders claimed that an alliance between NC and Madhesi parties will guarantee victory in more than two-thirds of the seats. The alliance has made "Madhesi parties for Madhes Province" the main election slogan to consolidate support of Madhesi voters. They are also trying their best to avoid potential disputes in candidates selection which they say is the single most challenge in producing better results than in the local polls.
One reason why Madhesi parties are hopeful of better performance is due to planned unification between the UML and CPN (Maoist Center). They argue that the unification is likely to further alienate their voters. 
"The left alliance will not make big difference in Madhes although it could have implications in other areas. We are certain to achieve far better outcomes in the coming elections," said FSFN Chairman Upendra Yadav.  

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