Parties in final phase to select candidates for second round polls
May 22, 2017 12:30 AM NPT
By: Ajit Tiwari
BIRATNAGAR, May 22: With the second round of the local elections now just 23 days away, major political parties in Province-1 are almost done finalizing their candidates to compete in various positions of their local units.
Motivated by the overwhelming participation of voters in the first round of the elections, parties are working with full energy to finalize their candidates so that they will have more time to prepare for the fierce and competitive elections ahead.
Province-1, which consists of 14 districts, will hold the elections for its 1,157 ward members. The upcoming election slated for June 14 will elect a total of 137 mayors, deputy mayors and rural municipality chiefs from this province, which has 2,674,563 eligible voters. Election Officers of the districts in the province has fixed 1,862 polling centers, according to Regional Election Office, Biratnagar.
Political parties have reached the final phase of selecting the candidates also because of the pressure from their aspiring candidates. As not much time is left, aspiring candidates have been demanding their parties to make the decisions on time so that they can start their election preparations if they win the ticket.
“A meeting of our party held in Morang on May 19 has directed ward, municipal and regional committees to finalize recommendations of our candidates by May 24,” informed Deg Bahadur Limbu, president of Morang district chapter of Nepali Congress (NC). “As per the instruction, we are speeding up the process and will submit the recommendations to the central office by the set deadline.”
However, it is not easy for the major political parties to finalize their recommendations. Both NC and its major competitor CPN-UML are finding it difficult to finalize mayoral candidate for the trade-hub Biratnagar Sub-metropolitan City. NC has over 10 aspiring candidates vying to win ticket for the post, while UML also has over half a dozen aspiring candidates for the same post.
On the other hand, CPN (Maoist Center) has already confirmed its candidate for the post of mayor and deputy mayor of Biratnagar. Bhogendra Yadav and Namita Neupane have won the party's ticket to vie for the position of the sub-metropolitan city's mayor and deputy mayor respectively.
Apart from the major parties, Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN), which have strong support base in the region, are also intensifying their efforts to finalize their candidates for the post of Biratnagar's mayor and deputy mayor. Likewise, Bibeksheel Nepali Party, which has performed well in the elections of the Kathmandu Valley, is also preparing to field its candidates for mayor and deputy mayor of the country's economy hub.