UML-Maoist election alliance on the cards?

  • The third position of the ruling Maoists makes the party a desirable ally for both the Nepali Congress and the opposition CPN-UML
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 27, 2017-

The CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) are mulling over forming an alliance for the upcoming federal and provincial elections. As the parties are busy selecting their candidates for the two crucial polls, leaders on both sides say informal discussions for the purpose are going on.

The development follows reports that the Nepali Congress and the Maoist Centre are working to enter into alliance in more than 50 seats of the federal parliament.Both the parties are said to have realised the need for cooperation after the results of the third phase of local elections in Province 2. Voices are growing in the UML for unity with leftist parties, particularly the Maoist Centre, in order to secure a majority in the federal parliament.

The UML faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal, and influential leader Bam Dev Gautam are pressing the party leadership to take initiatives to form an alliance with the Maoist Centre, which stands third in the total number of top local federal unit posts won.The recently concluded Central Committee meeting of the UML blamed the party’s poor showing in the local level elections in Province 2 for its “lack of interest” for alliance with like-minded forces. Some UML leaders have regretted the end to the UML-Maoist alliance that was forged when the party was in power.

“We cannot do anything if the NC and the Maoists continue their alliance. If the Maoists agree, we’re ready for alliance [with them],” Nepal said at a programme on Tuesday. Many in the UML are calling for efforts to breach the NC-UML unity that has sustained for a year already.

Among the Maoists as well, there are strong voices for unity with leftist forces. In Province 2, the Maoists had expected an alliance with the Congress as in the first and second phases of the local level elections. However, the NC largely refused to share local government seats with the Maoists in the eight Tarai districts. After this episode, calls grew louder in the Maoist party for unity with the UML if the NC was not serious about it.

Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday said his party was in talks for possible alliance with both the NC and the UML.The two largest parties believe that the Maoists will emerge as the third largest force after provincial elections, which means the former rebel force will have a decisive role in government formation at the centre as well as in the provinces. Some in the UML fear there might be an understanding between the NC and the Maoists to continue with their alliance for the elections and also in the governing coalitions that follow.The results of the local level election indicate that the NC, UML and the Maoists will emerge as the first, second and third parties, respectively. If this happens, the Maoist Centre will be the kingmaker and thus a desirable ally for both the large parties.

Published: 27-09-2017 07:51

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