Poll partnership: Congress-Maoist to continue; UML in mood to fight alone

File: CPN-UML’s Bidya Sundar Shakya and Rastriya Prajatantra Party’s Rajaram Shrestha join hands as they file nominations in Kathmandu Metropolitan City, in May 2017.

Kathmandu, June 2

Learning from successes and failures of the first phase, major parties are planning new strategies for partnership in the second phase of local level elections scheduled for June 28.

It is likely that two major ruling parties, Nepali Congress and the CPN-Maoist Centre, will continue their alliances for the elections in various districts.

Though the partnership did not give expected results in all places, the two parties are in the mood to continue the alliance as it will help them run the coalition government smoothly and defeat the UML.

The Congress-Maoist alliance, however, was defeated by the UML in Pokhara Metropolitan City and Hetaunda Sub-Metropolitan City. The alliance had found victory in some other places.

The Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal is likely to join the alliance in eastern hilly districts. Perhaps, some other ethnic parties will also join up the team.

It is also speculated that the Maoists and the Congress, either together or separately, will form alliances with the Madhesh-centric parties in some districts this time.

The main opposition, CPN-UML, however, is in the mood not to promote the partnership for mainly two reasons. First, its confidence has risen up due to its performance in the first phase. Second, its partnership with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party in major cities including Kathmandu and Lalitpur metropolitan cities did not give any benefit to the party.

The RPP itself is also not much willing to join hands with any party this time as it did not get expected results out of that in the May 14 polls. The two parties had divided mayoral and deputy mayoral positions in Kathmandu and Lalitpur metropolitan cities as well as Baglung and Beni municipalities outside Kathmandu. The RPP’s deputy mayoral candidates won in Baglung and Beni, but lost with a huge difference in both Kathmandu and Lalitpur.

The Rastriya Janamorcha and the Nepal Workers and Peasants Party, which had partnered up with the UML in few districts, are also unlikely to continue the alliance for the second phase.

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