UML continues to lead
KATHMANDU, May 25: Ten days after the first phase of the local elections were held, vote counting has been completed in most of the local units. As per the results, the main opposition CPN-UML has outdone its competitors by bagging most of the mayor/chairman positions and other key posts.
As of Wednesday evening, UML has secured victories in 120 local units and is leading in four more, out of the total 283 local units where the local elections were held on May 14.
Ruling coalition partner Nepali Congress (NC), which is set to lead the new government following the resignation of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, registered the second-highest number of mayor/chair posts giving stiff challenge to the UML. NC is trailing UML with 105 victories and one lead.
On the other hand, CPN (Maoist Center) has secured wins in 46 local units. Three independent candidates won chiefs of three local units while the fringe parties have bagged four chief positions.
On Tuesday night, NC won both the mayor and deputy mayor positions of the Lalitpur Metropolitan City. NC's Chiribabu Maharjan defeated UML's Harikrishna Byanjankar by 326 votes. Nepali Congress' candidate Gita Satyal has been elected deputy mayor.
UML leader Hari Bahadur Mahat has been elected as mayor of Hetauda Sub-metropolitan City. NC candidate Aanandaram Parajuli was defeated in mayoral race by 615 votes.
Vote counting is still underway in five local units — Kathmandu, Pokhara-Lekhnath and Bharatpur metropolises, Chhagunarayan Muncipality of Bhaktapur, and Melung Rural Municipality of Dolakha district. NC is leading in Changunarayan Municipality while UML has taken lead in the remaining local units.
Counting of votes has been been smooth in most of the remaining local units, contributing to the delay in publishing the final results. For instance, the vote counting of Changunarayan Municipality had halted since Friday and resumed only on Wednesday after an all-party meeting chaired by Bhaktapur Chief District Officer Drona Pokharel. The meeting decided to recount the votes of the municipality's ward number 3 and 4.
Likewise, vote counting was halted in Pokhara-Lekhnath on May 20 after the finding of allegedly forged ballot papers. It had resumed two days after the incident on Monday after political parties agreed to resume the counting after instructions from the Election Commission. Bharatpur, where outgoing Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's daughter Renu is competing for the post of mayor saw several disruptions in vote counting.