Madhes-centric parties to boycott presidential vote

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Leaders say the decision was taken to retain public trust after SLMM participation in the PM election

Oct 27, 2015-The Madhes-based parties have decided to boycott the presidential vote after rounds of unsuccessful negotiations with other allies in the Parliament over picking an agreeable candidate.

Leaders associated with Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM), a front consisting four Madhes-centric parties, said that they will neither file candidacy nor participate in the presidential election. They said that the decision was taken as an effort to retain trust of general public who were suspicious of the SLMM’s honesty after their participation in the prime ministerial election.

Madhesi parties, including Rajendra Mahato-led Sadbhawana Party—which had earlier announced resignation of its five lawmakers from the Constituent Assembly—had voted Nepali Congress (NC) candidate Sushil Koirala in the prime ministerial election.

“It’s been decided that we won’t take part in the presidential election. We will focus on strengthening the ongoing protest to press the government to address our demands,” said Hridayesh Tripathi, vice-chairman of Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP).

Earlier, The SLMM had conveyed message to the NC leaders, saying that their participation would depend on the candidate NC agrees to pick for President and Vice President. NC leaders failed to come up with the names of agreeable candidates, though several possible nominees from Madhes, including incumbent President Ram Baran Yadav and TMLP Chairman Mahanta Thakur, were considered.

With UCPN (Maoist) and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik refusing to extend their support, the SLMM leaders were quick at realising that the NC-led coalition are moving towards “another defeat”.

Sadbhawana Party (SP) Co-chair Laxman Lal Karna said that it was in the interest of Madhes and the ongoing protest not to participate in the election. He said that many other fronts were campaigning to portray the SLMM in negative light, though they took part in the prime ministerial election with a good intention.

“People are still looking us with suspicion after we took part in the prime ministerial election. Though our intention was good, there was very little time to justify it. It would give more reasons for some to frame us in negative light,” Karna said.

Published: 27-10-2015 08:14

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