A Journal of People report
An alliance of two major communist parties in Nepal is heading towards a major victory in the just concluded elections. It is now almost certain the leftist alliance would win, and will be forming the next government in the Himalayan country.
The ruling Nepali Congress, which was the largest party in the last election, won only 10 seats while the Left alliance was on Sunday won 72 of the 89 seats so far. According to results released by the Election Commission, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN- UML) has won 51 seats while its alliance partner CPN Maoist Centre has bagged 21 seats. Two Madhesi parties have won five seats. The Federal Socialist Forum Nepal led by Upendra Yadav has won 2 seats whereas Rastriya Janata Party led by Mahanta Thakur has bagged 3 seats. Naya Shakti Party led by former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai has won one seat and an independent was among winning candidates.
The election is going to complete a transition to democracy after abolition of monarchy and end to civil war in the landlocked country.
The country has seen 10 government changes in the last 11 years. The hydropower-rich country perched between China and India is experiencing instability, corruption, retarded growth and slowed recovery. A 2015-earthquake killed 9,000 persons in the country. Nepal emerged from a civil war in 2006 and abolished its 239-year-old Hindu monarchy two years later. In the election 165 seats are being decided on a first-past-the-post basis for which voting was held on Thursday while 110 seats will be decided by proportional representation.
Right-centrist party Nepali Congress led by prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has formed an alliance with the Madhesi parties from the country’s southern plains and royalists. The Nepali Congress is considered a pro-India group.
The contesting alliance of CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Center is seen as closer to China. The CPN-UML is led by former premier K P Oli and the CPN- Maoist is led by former premier Prachanda.
The mostly peaceful election was held in two phases – in the northern half of the country on November 26 and the rest on Thursday. In the first phase, polling was held in 32 districts, mostly situated in the hilly and mountainous region, in which 65 per cent of voters had exercised their franchise. In the second phase, 67 per cent voter turnout was registered. A total of 1,663 candidates contested polls for parliamentary seats.
It was the first election for seven provincial assemblies established under the constitution adopted in 2015. The new constitution declared Nepal a republic.