The party which did not participate in the first phase of local elections held on May 14 had boycotted the second round held on June 28. The party had been saying that it would participate in the third phase of local polls scheduled for September 18 in Province 2 only after the constitution was amended.
But after the CPN-UML threw the spanners in the works of the governing parties to secure the required numbers to pass the constitution amendment bill in Parliament, they told RJP-N leaders on Tuesday that constitution amendment “is not possible now”.
One option the RJP-N has now is to drop the constitution amendment issue, press for addressing other four demands and participate in the third phase polls. This, however, could make it difficult for them to convince their constituencies. Since a section of RJP-N leaders still maintains that the party should not drop the amendment issue, the party may decide not to participate in the September 18 polls. This too, party insiders say, will not be an easy option with questions already being asked within the party over its move of boycotting the second phase of elections.
The third plan, which the top RJP-N leadership is learnt to have been mulling, is pressing for national elections. This option, RJP-N leaders said, should be explored if the party decides not to take part in the third phase polls. “We have already applied for party registration. We will review the situation and come up with our plan accordingly,” said Rajendra Mahato, a senior RJP-N leader.
The RJP-N, however, is a divided house when it comes to making the constitution amendment a prerequisite for the party’s participation in the third phase of polls.
One of the biggest fears of the RJP-N is it might lose some leaders and cadres if it decides to boycott the September polls. Some RJP-N leaders did not hesitate to say that the party is like “a cat on a hot tin roof” at the moment.
Meanwhile, the RJP-N on Wednesday submitted additional documents, including the list of its 815 central committee members, to the Election Commission for party registration.