Major parties looking to forge electoral alliances

Published On: May 4, 2017 07:59 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 3 : The three major political parties are all trying to forge electoral alliances with like-minded forces to win support of constituencies that they consider to be their traditional support base. 

While the Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center) are exploring possibilities of alliance with parties sympathetic to the cause of the Madhesi, Janajati, Muslim and other agitating groups, the main opposition Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist [CPN-UML] is trying to forge alliance with parties that are opposed to it. 

The NC considers Madhes its key support base, while the CPN-UML is seeking bigger stake in hilly districts.  The governing CPN (Maoist Center), which waged a decade-long civil war, sees marginalized and underprivileged communities as it support base. 

On Tuesday, the CPN-UML and Rastriya Prajatantra Party fielded consensus candidates for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor of Kathmandu. The two parties have also agreed to forge working alliance on other parts of the country. 

The CPN-UML is also in talks with CPN Marxist Leninist, Nepal Workers Peasants Party, Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal and Mohan Baidya-led Maoist party to forge electoral alliance. 

“There could be similar collaboration with RPP and other like-minded forces on the basis of need,” said CPN-UML Secretary Yogesh Bhattarai.

Nepali Congress looks keen to forge electoral alliance with Maoist Center, another partner in the ruling coalition. The party considers the CPN-UML as its primary rival. The CPN-UML has better organization and more regular cadres than other parties. 
“We have directed our local leadership to use their discretion while forging alliance. The central leadership would provide required assistance if there is need of any help,” NC leader Ramesh Lekhak  told reporters during an interaction on Wednesday.  
The Maoist Center appears more flexible on the electoral alliance. The party leaders said they are open to forging alliance with all parties depending on the need. 
“There are no fixed criteria for electoral alliance as we need to keep local dynamics into account before forging electoral alliance. There could be collaboration with any party based on need,” Maoist Center spokesperson Pampha Bhusal told Republica. 
The party is in talks with several regional parties including Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Democratic and Federal Socialist Party Nepal to forge alliance in some districts.

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