RJPN, FSFN open to poll alliance with left

Published On: January 23, 2018 07:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

RJPN and FSFN leaders added that an alliance will be forged with either left parties or the Nepali Congress depending on which one offers them the best deal. 

KATHMANDU, Jan 23: The Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) have intensified negotiations with the Nepali Congress and the left alliance to explore the possibility of forging an alliance for the National Assembly (NA) elections. 

The NA polls, scheduled for February 7, will elect 59 members through a direct vote cast by a 2056-member electoral college consisting of the newly-elected members of provincial assemblies and chiefs and deputy chiefs of the 753 local units.

Leaders of the Madhes-centric parties said they are in talks with the leaders of both NC and left alliance. They added that an alliance will be forged with one of the two sides depending on which one offers them the best deal. 

NC has already proposed the two Madhes-centric parties to field candidates based on consensus and share two seats each in Province 2. 

"We are going to win two seats even without forming an alliance. That's why we have kept the door open for partnership with the left alliance if they come up with a better deal," said FSFN co-chair Rajendra Shrestha. 

RJPN leaders have also been carrying out informal talks with the left alliance regardless of the party's announcement to give priority to an alliance with allies of the so-called "democratic alliance." 

A meeting of RJPN leaders held at the party's headquarters in the capital on Monday decided to start negotiations with NC and FSFN to finalize the issue of seat sharing. But some top RJPN leaders are in negotiations with interlocutors from UML to see the possibility of an alliance. 

Unlike FSFN, RJPN presidium members are divided over forming an alliance with the left alliance. Some leaders including Rajendra Mahato have said that the party should be ready to forge a partnership with the UML if it guarantees seats. They are also of the opinion that forging a partnership for the NA elections would pave the way for a partnership in the central government and possibly in the provincial governments too. 

"Discussions are going on with both sides. An appropriate decision will be taken once a clear proposal comes forward," said Mahato. 

But few others have opposed the move saying that an alliance with UML would be a betrayal to Madhesi people who elected them to power. 

The left alliance has divided 43 seats between UML and CPN (Maoist Center) and is looking forward to form an alliance with smaller parties for the remaining 13 seats. 

The 59-member NA will comprise 56 directly elected representatives and three members nominated by the president on the recommendation of the cabinet.

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