Surge of aspirants complicates poll alliances

Published On: September 9, 2017 06:40 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 9: The failure of the political parties to accommodate the aspiring candidates and disputes over sharing of key posts of local units has made the ruling Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (Maoist Center) and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) forge electoral alliances difficult for the September 18 local polls.

Although the homework for electoral alliances among these parties was done much before the nomination day, the actual alliance took place only in three of the total 136 local units in Province 2. 

Prime Minister and NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba had agreed on the proposal made by Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to forge electoral alliance at 60:40 ratio in the districts of Province 2. 

Add to this, the ruling parties had even announced to forge the alliance with the Madhes-based parties including with the RJPN to corner the main opposition party, CPN-UML, in tarai-Madhes districts.

RJPN leader Keshav Jha said they could not forge electoral alliances with other parties as there were a large number of aspirants within the party to take part in the polls. “There were so many aspirants within the party that we had to make adjustments within the party. We are facing a hard time convincing party leaders to resolve the nomination disputes,” Jha told Republica.

Political party leaders said that there was overwhelming enthusiasm in the district-level leaders to participate in the local polls slated for September 18. The top leaders of the party had held long negotiations to convince party cadres to ensure that there were no rebel candidates from the party. 

NC lawmaker from Siraha, Dr Ganesh Mandal said the alliance with the Maoist Center failed as the latter made disproportionate demand for mayoral candidates. “There is so much of enthusiasm in the leaders within our party to contest the polls. It was difficult to give in to the demands of the Maoist Center and deny our own local leaders from contesting for key positions,” he told Republica.

Dr Mandal said although the party’s central leadership made the decision to forge an electoral alliance with the Maoist Center at 60:40 ratio in Tarai-Madhes districts, the leaders working at the district level were not happy with it. “Nepali Congress has a strong base in Madhes. Our leaders are convinced that they can secure victory without forging an alliance,” he said.

RJPN leader Jha, however, said there is still the chance to forge electoral alliances. “Poll alliances are possible till a day before the election. We have convinced a few leaders already and we are currently working on convincing others as well,” he said, adding that electoral alliances will be forged in areas where RJPN is weak.

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