‘Democratic’ alliance taskforce stuck on electoral seat-sharing

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 8, 2017-The eight-member taskforce assigned to forge consensus in forming a broader “democratic” alliance led by the Nepali Congress is working to define the criteria for alliance, minimum common programme for election, and sharing of electoral seats.

The taskforce had hours-long discussions on the issue on Friday and Saturday but no deal was reached. Sharing of seats in the upcoming elections to the federal parliament and provincial assemblies is the major bone of contention among the six parties.

The parties do not have many differences on a common election manifesto and a common minimum programme but the differences over division of seats was not resolved even as the second meeting concluded on Saturday evening.

Bimalendra Nidhi, Purna Bahadur Khadka and Minendra Rijal from the Nepali Congress, Buddhiman Tamang of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, and Bikram Pandey from the RPP-Prajatantrik, Sarvendra Nath Shukla of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, Ram Sahaya Yadav of the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal  and Ram Janam Chaudhary of the Nepal Loktantrik Forum are the members of the taskforce. Top leaders from the six parties have decided to meet again on Sunday to finalise the candidates.

The parties came together to forge a “democratic” alliance after the CPN-UML, the CPN (Maoist Centre) and the Naya Shakti Nepal formed a leftist alliance with a broader objective of merging into a single party.

“We hope to forge a deal on all the three issues soon,” Tamang told the Post after the meeting held at the prime minister’s residence in Baluwatar. 

As the RJP-N and the SSF-N have already entered into a poll alliance, they presented their demand jointly in the meeting. 

They have demanded a 50 percent share of the 64 seats in Province 2.

The NC, which has a major hold in the province, is reluctant to allocate half the 

seats to the two parties as it would be limited to 40 percent seats after allocating 

constituencies to the other parties. 

The Kamal Thapa-led RPP, which got 6.66 percent votes as the RPP-Nepal under proportional representation in the second Constituent Assembly elections, has demanded seats equal to its vote share. 

This means the NC will have to set aside at least 13 seats for the party under the first-past-the-post category among the 165 constituencies of the federal parliament.

Published: 08-10-2017 08:20

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