SSF-N, RJP-N form alliance for upcoming polls

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 7, 2017-Two Madhes-based parties, which pulled off a good performance in the local elections in Province 2, have decided to form an electoral alliance for the upcoming federal and provincial polls in a move that could dent the ruling Nepali Congress (NC)’s plan to form a broader “democratic alliance” to counter a recently announced left electoral alliance.

The Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal (SSF-N) and the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-Nepal) on Friday said they would contest the upcoming polls, scheduled for November 26 and December 7, jointly.

The SSF-N and the RJP-N with 26 and 25 wins respectively in Province 2 earlier were said to have been preparing to join the NC-led democratic alliance and had even participated in a meeting to discuss the matter on Wednesday, a day after the main opposition CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre), NC’s coalition partner, announced the left electoral alliance. 

A joint statement issued by Upendra Yadav, chairman of the SSF-N, and Mahantha Thakur, coordinator of the RJP-N, reads: We have decided to forge an alliance with other political parties, fronts or alliances jointly, if needed, besides deciding to contest the provincial and federal polls with common candidates of both the parties.”  

Leaders of the two parties, however, deciphered the joint statement differently. 

SSF-N Co-chair Rajendra Shrestha claimed that the two parties have decided to jointly “bargain” with both the alliances (democratic and left) for the upcoming polls but RJP-N general secretaries Manish Suman and Keshav Jha said they “are in discussion only with the democratic alliance” and do not wish to hold talks with the left alliance.

Some leaders said the two parties though “still are with the democratic alliance”, a deal is yet to be reached. 

Leaders of the two Madhes-based parties believe that going to Province 2 local polls separately was a mistake, but the realisation they say dawned on them only after the results, in an indication that the number of seats they managed to win was somewhat unexpected.

But when it comes to deciding which alliance could be better—left or democratic—leaders of the two parties are still not clear. The RJP-N’s reluctance to join the left alliance stems from the fact that the UML vehemently opposed an amendment to the constitution, a key demand of the RJP-N. 

Published: 07-10-2017 07:42

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