Threshold provision triggers merger of fringe parties

  • MJF-L, Rastriya Janamukti Party, Dalit Janajati Party become Nepal Loktantrik Forum Party
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Apr 6, 2017-

The threshold provision set for political forces for their recognition as national parties has, as expected, triggered unification among fringe parties.

Parliament on March 22 endorsed the Bill on Political Party, setting a threshold of three percent vote share under the proportion system and one seat under the First-Past-the-Post system for political forces to get recognition as national parties. The bill was passed amid objection from fringe parties, which argued that the provision would deprive them of their representation in Parliament.

Big parties, however, maintain that the provision will strengthen political parties and political system. Be that as it may, following the introduction of the threshold provision, small political forces have expedited talks for merger, as they believe contesting election under one single electoral symbol can increase their chances of entering Parliament as “national parties”.  On Wednesday, the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik, Rastriya Janamukti Party (RJP) and Dalit Janajati Party (DJP) announced their merger to become Nepal Loktantrik Forum Party.

The unified party now is the fifth largest force with 17 lawmakers-14 of MJF-L, 2 of RJP and one of DJP.

MJF-L Chairman Bijay Kumar Gachhadar will lead the unified party with RJP leader Shiva Lal Thapa has been named vice-chairman and DJP’s Yashoda Lama is office bearer.  “The threshold provision obviously built pressure for the merger,” said Yogendra Chaudhary chief-whip of the party, adding that negotiations are underway to bring the Rukmini Chaudhary-led Sanghiya Loktantrik Manch into the fold.

Some more merger announcements by fringe parties are likely in days ahead in the wake of the threshold provision.

A leader from the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha claimed that the seven parties under the Morcha “are in the final stage of unification”.

Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Ganatantrik (MJF-G) Chairman Rajkishor Yadav said that the seven parties under the Morcha will become a single party “within a week”. “We will be under one party and a single flag within a week,” he said at an interaction in the Capital.

The seven parties under the Morcha are doing homework either to form a single party or form an election alliance.

The Mahendra Raya Yadav-led Tarai Madhesh Sadbhawana Party, Sharat Singh Bhandari-led Rastriya Madhesh Samajbadi Party (RMSP) and Rajkishor’s MJF-G are inching closer to merger. “Our first priority will be merging all seven parties to make one,” Mahendra Raya said. “People want to see all the seven parties becoming one.  The negotiations are underway. If that does not happen, there are also chances that three parties will unite.”

 Recently, 10 fringe parties including Chure Bhawar Party Nepal, Bahujatiya Samabesi Party, Nepalbadi Party, Greater Nepal Rastrabadi Morcha, Jana Prajatantrik Party, Rastriya Mukti Andolan, Rastriya Punarjagaran Party, Nepal Ganatantrik Janata Party, CPN-ML (Samajbadi) and Samyukta Rastrabadi Samajbadi Party had announced their merger.

Published: 06-04-2017 08:17

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