By Our Reporter
Against the expectation of the ruling Nepali Congress and the Maoist Centre, the CPN-UML emerged as the largest party winning the largest number of Gaunpalika (Rural Municipality) chairmen and municipality mayors in the second round of local polls held on June 28. The party had emerged largest party also in the first round polls held on May 14.
While the CPN-UML won 151 chairmen and mayors, Nepali Congress won 122 chairmen and mayors the Maoist-Centre won 38 chairmen and mayors. Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal became the fourth largest party by winning eight posts of chairmen ad mayors and Bijaya Gachchhadar’s Nepal Democratic Forum captured the fifth place with six chairmen and mayors in total.
The Rastriya Prajatantra Parry that had fared badly in the first phase polls won three Gaunpalika chairmen, all of them in Jhapa, and a mayoral post in Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan City. Other parties and independent candidates won five posts of chairmen.
Of the 93 mayors of municipalities, sub-metropolitan cities and a Metropolitan City, the CPN-UML won more than 50 per cent, 46 in total whereas the NC won only 35 posts of mayors including Biratnagar Metropolis and Dhangadhi Sub-Metropolitan City. Of the seven Sub Metropolitan Cities of the Province 1, 5 and 7, the CPN-UML won in five sub-metropolitan cities whereas NC and the RPP won one each. The CPN-UML won Dharan, Itahari, Butwal, Tulsipur and Ghorai whereas NC won only Dhangadhi and RPP Nepalgunj. However, NC won the only Metropolitan City-Biratnagar, where the election was held in the second round polls, with a big margin.
The Maoist-Centre won eight posts of mayors in total and the Nepal Democratic Forum won one municipality and independent candidates won two municipalities.
Likewise, the CPN-UML won 105 of the 241 posts of the Gaunpalika chairmen and NC 87 in the second round of the polls. The Maoist Centre won only 30 posts of chairmen. The CPN-UML won more posts of deputy mayors and deputy chairmen than the posts of mayors and chairmen. While 56 posts of deputy mayors and 120 posts of deputy chairmen went to CPN-UML while NC won only 24 and 78 posts of deputy mayors and deputy chairmen respectively.
The CPN-UML became the largest party in all three provinces in the second round of polls. Although it was predicted that the NC would emerge the largest party in Province 7, the CPN-UML became the largest party winning 39 posts of mayors and chairmen while NC won only 38 posts in the province.
The CPN-UML won the top posts in 68 local units in province 1 while NC won 51 posts and the Maoist-Centre nine posts. Likewise, in province 5, UML won 43 posts, NC 33 and the Maoist-Centre 19 posts.
While the UML’s performance was better than it had expected in Province 7, its performance was below expectation in Province 1. The UML made a clean sweep in Dhankuta but it failed to win majority posts in Jhapa, the home district of party chairman K. P. Oli. The CPN-UML fared badly in Morang, Panchthar and Bhojpur districts in Province 1 while in Province 5, it failed to win key posts in Arghakanchi. But it defeated the NC and Maoist alliance in Butwal while NC mayoral candidate Bhim Parajuli of Biratnagar Metropolitan City defeated the common mayoral candidates of UML-Nepal Democratic Forum and of the Maoist-Centre Federal Socialist Allaince.
Though NC was hopeful of emerging the largest party in the second round of polls, it failed to become the largest party even in province-7 believed to be NC’s stronghold. The worst results for NC came form Dang. Though NC had won all four seats of Dang in the Constituent Assembly Elections of 2013, it became third in the local election in Dang after UML and the Maoist-Centre
Even in Amarghadi, the hometown NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba, the mayoral post was won by the CPN-UML candidate while the mayoral post of Bhadrapur municipality, hometown of NC leader Krishna Sitaula, was won by the CPN-UML.
More interesting were the results of Itahari, Tikapur, Bhimdutta and Siddharthanagar municipalities as the CPN-UML won from these Terai towns. The UML was portrayed as an anti-Madhes party since long, but the people proved the allegations wrong as it won elections in the municipalities dominated by the Madhesi communities. The victory of UML in Terai showed that the party might emerge as the largest party even in Province 2, where the elections are slated for September 18.
Most of the young and fresh candidates won elections, which clearly showed the people want change. However, they had no option, either they had to vote for the UML or NC candidates.
NC lost the elections for two apparent reasons—controversial moves of the party leadership and the fielding of the wrong candidates. The people punished the oldest party for not terming the Indian embargo of 2015 as ‘blockade’, for pulling down the nationalist government of Oli and for registering impeachment motion against former Chief Justice Sushila Karki.
However, one of the most important messages of the second phase polls is that elections to the provincial and federal parliaments are possible within 2017. The people will make all the elections successful no matter who boycotts it and who threatens to disrupt it. If the government announces election dates, and if the Election Commission makes preparations to hold them, people will make them successful by foiling all anti-election activities.
UML further consolidate its nationwide strength
By Our Reporter