Kathmandu: As the local election is approaching, calculations and estimations about the continuity of the incumbent ruling alliance are being discussed across the political spectrum. Until now, CPN-Maoist Center and CPN (Unified Socialist) are the vocal advocates of the continuity of the alliance while Nepali Congress remains indecisive. JSPN, for its part, has not come up with concrete opinions.
Last week, CPN-Maoist Center leader Dev Gurung said the ruling coalition will continue until the election unless ‘some political accident does not happen.’
Chairman of CPN-US Madhav Kumar Nepal and CPN-Maoist Center Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) appear confident about the longevity of the coalition; at least until the local elections. While addressing the Central Committee meeting of the party which began on Friday, Maoist chair Prachanda claimed that the incumbent alliance will continue till the election. Nepal, on the other hand, has time and again been claiming the alliance in the government will turn into an electoral alliance.
However, the meeting of the coalition parties–Nepali Congress, CPN (Unified Socialist), CPN-Maoist Center and Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal (JSPN)–last week concluded the fate of the ruling alliance will be decided after all of them discuss the issue individually within their respective parties.
Leaders of the Nepal Congress, for their part, are not sure yet.
Speaking with journalists on March 9 in a press meet conducted at the party’s central office, top leaders of Nepali Congress said that no formal decisions have been made as yet by the party regarding the continuity of the coalition into an election alliance.
Nepali Congress announced its election campaign on Wednesday.
“No decisions have been made yet regarding the electoral alliance. We will act in a way that ensures our victory in the majority of places,” said Prakash Sharan Mahat, who is the spokesperson of the Nepali Congress.
Mahat further added that there is no need for discussions about the prospect of the alliance at present as the party has decided to focus on the election campaign for now.
Nepali political arithmetics are changing with the political ups and downs the country is facing.
Party vice-president Purna Bahadur Khadka echoed Mahat. He claimed that the party is clear and will conduct the first round of election campaigns separately. “After that, the party will discuss the alliance issue and decide about the further move,” he said.
Individual leaders may have personal opinions but Nepali Congress will put this issue on hold for now, according to him.
At present there are a total of 753 local governments including six metropolitans, 11 sub-metropolitans, 276 municipalities and 460 rural municipalities. In the 2017 local elections, out of 1506 positions in the local governments, CPN-UML had won 625, NC 489 and CPN-Maoist 217 positions.
Nepali political arithmetics are changing with the political ups and downs the country is facing. The largest political party CPN-UML is out of the government while other parties are together in the government.
After the Madhav Kumar Nepal faction broke away, UML’s stronghold in the local levels has comparatively diminished. Maoist Center is weak at the local level while CPN-US is yet to build organizations at the local level. That’s why these two parties are currently strong advocates for the continuity of the alliance.
Nepali Congress is comparatively in a comfortable position. But Deuba is still not clear whether to continue the alliance until the local elections despite the continuous voices from his party leaders that the party can win alone. Deuba has directed party’s leaders and cadres not to speak against the coalition parties.
Whether the coalition will convert into an election alliance is going to impact the local polls and their outcomes as well.