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Election dilemma continues

By Our Reporter
imagesThe third phase of local election scheduled for 18 September is likely to be held even if the constitution is not amended. When Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Maoist Center chairman Pushpakamal Dahal saw no possibility of amendment of the constitution before 18 September, now they are trying to convince the leaders of the Rastriya Janata Party (RJP) to take part in the elections without amendment of the constitution. However, RJP has not made clear its stance on whether it is taking part in the third phase local elections or not.
Nevertheless, the government is in a mood to hold the third phase elections at any cost.
RJP’s strength:
In the past CA elections, the tarai based parties were divided and they had contested elections dividedly. Although the divided parties had bagged above eight hundred thousand votes, many of the Madheshi candidates, including Mahanta Thakur, Rajendra Mahato had faced humiliating defeats. Currently, RJP, a unified party of six small tarai based parties, if takes part in the elections, as a unified force, obviously, RJP may emerge with a strong presence in the local bodies in No 2 province and also in the federal parliament elections. This may increase the seats for the Madheshi leaders in further elections.
NC vs RJP:
The vote bank of the NC and RJP is the same. In the past, NC had a stronghold in the Tarai districts. After the emergence of RJP through unification of six small parties, it may weaken NC’s organization in the Tarai districts.
UML’s presence:
Although, the UML may face challenges in core Madheshi areas below the East-West Highway, around the Highway, the UML organization is still strong and it is believed that UML may secure at least second position in the No 2 province and even after the third phase elections, the UML will secure its first position in the local elections nationwide.
Fate of provincial/federal parliament elections:
Until now, the government has not been able to constitute a proposed commission for allotting new electoral constituencies in accordance to the constitution. The new constitution has reduced the number of the directly elected parliament members from 240 in the previous constitution to 165. The proposed commission had to set new electoral constituencies, however, the government has not been able to constitute such a commission.
NC and MC, coalition partner in the government at present, are said to be thinking for holding federal parliament elections on the basis of previous electoral constituencies i.e. 240 constituencies. Meanwhile, the UML has strongly opposed this. On the other hand, the Election Commission has stated that if the government fails to complete its works in time, it cannot conduct the provincial and federal parliament elections in the given time.
Reluctance on provincial election:
The major parties and also the Tarai based parties are found reluctant in holding provincial elections. These parties are thinking about holding federal parliament’s elections by keeping pending the election of the provinces.
The parties in the government are even thinking for prolonging the tenure of the existing parliament for one more year to preserve the “historical” achievements.

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