Major parties initiate process to pick candidates for local polls

Published On: March 30, 2017 08:33 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 30: The three major political parties have started their homework to pick candidates for the local level elections scheduled for May 14. Selecting candidates for the local polls is likely to be an arduous task for all parties due to the need to select thousands of candidates for ward offices, rural municipalities and municipal councils. 

While the Nepali Congress and UML have directed the parties' lower committees to submit the list of candidates for the polls, the CPN (Maoist Center) is working to draft the procedures to select its candidates. 

NC, the largest party in the parliament, plans to select its candidates for the local polls by April 20. The party on Tuesday issued a circular to all district committees to submit the list of probable candidates for the upcoming local polls based on the criteria set by the central leadership. 

In a statement issued after the party's Central Working Committee meeting on Tuesday, the NC said that all district committees have been asked to pick the candidates for village and municipal councils. The district leadership has also been asked to recommend the strategies to influence the outcome of the polls in its favor.  

UML, the second largest party in the parliament, has directed the party's district chapters to select candidates for village and municipal councils. 

“But the central leadership would pick candidates for sub metropolitan cities and metropolitan cities. The party is working on that as well,” UML Secretary Yogesh Bhattarai told Republica. The party's central leadership would endorse the list after going through the recommended names and could make some changes. 
“The party is making parallel preparation to restructure the party in accordance with the new federal setup. The party's campaign committee is working on further campaign strategies.” The party recently concluded its Mechi-Mahakali Campaign, a massive electoral campaign attended by thousands of party leaders and cadres.  

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led CPN (Maoist Center) is busy in forming procedures for selection of candidates. CPN Maoist Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal told Republica that the party has issued a circular to lower committees to suggest on the criteria to pick candidates. 

“We have also asked the party's lower chapters to suggest slogans and agendas for slogans for the local elections. The party would make its strategies accordingly,” CPN Maoist Spokesperson Bhusal told Republica.  She said that the party would set criteria and ask the lower bodies to recommend candidates accordingly.

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