June 11, 2017 01:40 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, June 11: With the second round of elections just 17 days away, the main opposition CPN-UML has finalized its candidates of one metropolitan city and two sub-metropolitan cities in province 1.
The party's Standing Committee meeting held at its headquartering in Dhumbarahi finalized the candidates of province 1. The party has fielded Binod Dhakal as the mayoral candidate for Biratnagar Metropolitan City. Dhakal is the party's chairperson of Morang district. Former student leader Dhakal had contested the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections but failed to secure victory.
The party has mandated Secretary Bhim Acharya to decide over deputy mayoral candidates keeping the local political context and winning possibilities in mind.
Tara Subba of Dharan has been fielded as mayoral candidate for Dharan Sub-Metropolitan City. She is the party's Dharan metro chairperson and an active leader. Another leader Manju Bhandari has been fielded as deputy mayoral candidate of Dharan.
Dwarika Lal Chaudhary, the party's acting chief in Sunsari district, has been fielded as mayoral candidate of Itahari Sub-Metropolitan City. Chaudhary has been leading the party in the district after chairperson Rewati Raman Bhandari was elected CA member in 2013's CA elections.
UML, which has already finalized candidates for provinces 5 and 7, is yet to forge consensus among party rank and file over whom to field as candidates in Province-2.
"Leaders are finalizing candidates for Province-2. They will come up with a conclusion soon," said Surya Thapa, the party's deputy spokesperson.
Province-2 is considered as the litmus test for the UML in the context of ruling Nepali Congress, CPN (Maoist Center) and other Madhes-based parties forging electoral alliance against the UML.
UML has emerged victorious in the first round of elections, bagging most of the seats of chiefs and other positions. The party has won 125 chiefs of local units of the total 283 units. UML candidates emerged victorious in Kathmandu and Pokhara metropolis and Hetauda Sub-Metropolitan City. Congress candidate emerged victorious in Lalitpur metropolis.
Vote counting in Bharatpur metropolis has been put on hold following disturbances after some ballot papers were torn apart while the vote counting was about to complete.