Coalition partners Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) have agreed in principal to form electoral alliance in four metropolitan cities including capital Kathmandu.
The two parties have agreed to give the mayoral position in Kathmandu and Pokhara Lekhnath metropolitan cities to Nepali Congress, while Maoist Center will take in Lalitpur and Bharatpur.
Maoist Center’s headquarters member Mani Thapa informed the leadership of the two parties have agreed in principle about the alliance in the metropolitan cities. He said the local leaders of two parties will decide on the ward members in their respective province and local level.
Raju Raj Joshi had filed for mayoral position in Kathmandu from NC while Hari Priya Khadki filed for deputy mayor. Sarvottam Dangol and Sushila Poudel of Maoist Center had filed nominations for Kathmandu’s mayor and deputy mayor respectively.
Dissatisfaction in NC over new poll alliance
The ruling CPN (Maoist Center) and Nepali Congress parties have forged electoral alliances in Pokhara-Lekhnath and Bharatpur metropolitan cities amid opposition from a section of the NC leadership and cadres on the ground.
As per the understanding reached between leaders of the two parties Thursday, the last day for withdrawing nominations, NC’s Bharatpur mayoral candidate Bikash Koirala has withdrawn his candidacy followed by the candidacy withdrawal of CPN (Maoist Center) Pokhara-Lekhnath candidate Bishwoprakash Lamichhane.
Though the leaders of the two parties had also agreed to electoral alliances in Kathmandu and Lalitpur, the mayoral candidates for these cities from neither party have officially withdrawn.
“Although we were also trying to forge alliances in Kathmandu and Lailitpur, some disputes later emerged,” CPN (Maoist Center) leader Mani Thapa said.
It is not immediately clear whether there would be similar alliances over other positions, including deputy mayors and ward representatives. Both parties have directed their district leaderships to work on the details of possible alliances for other positions.
The poll alliance decision came two days after the CPN-UML and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) fielded consensus candidates in Kathmandu metropolitan city.
A section of the NC leadership has, however, taken strong exception to party President Sher Bahadur Deuba’s unilateral decision on an electoral alliance with the third largest party.
NC senior leader Ramchandra Poudel said it was the party that should have taken decisions regarding the alliance before filing nominations.
“The decision to forge the alliance has come in the eleventh hour. It should have come earlier. That’s the reason for the disgruntlement on the ground,” Poudel told Republica. NC leaders Krishna Sitaula and Shekhar Koirala have also denounced what they call Deuba’s unilateral decision.
The NC leadership thinks that the alliance will only benefit the CPN (Maoist Center). NC has a strong support base in Bharatpur while the UML is considered strong in Pokhara.
CPN (Maoist Center) spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said that the party leadership decided to forge the electoral alliance on the basis of ground assessment reports. She said the decision regarding the alliance was taken by party headquarter.