No combination is expected to get majority in the national election in Nepal

BY SANKAR RAY

Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and its chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal a k a Prachanda have been pushed to the fourth
position in the election to the Pratinidhi Sabha ( parliament) and Pradesh Sabhas (provincial legislatures) of Nepal held on
November 20., It is even behind the newly-established Rastriya Swatantra Party, set up shortly before the Election Commission of
Nepal announced polling date and schedule.
A hung parliament is almost a fait accompli. With nearly two weeks left for final results, the RSP received 86,024 votes under the
Proportional Representative system. According to the EC, CPN (UML)is in the first position with 189,662 votes, NC inthe second
with167,386 votes while CPN (Maoist Centre) is in fourth position with 80,200 votes and Rastriya Prajatantra Party is in the fifth
position with45,596 votes. Of 275 PS members, 165 are to be directly elected and the rest 110 to be allocated under PR system.
Led by Ravi Lamicchane, a US returnee, who used to run a television programme until the recent past, the RSP has obviously
become a headache for leading national parties such as Nepali Congress and CPN(United Marxist-Leninist).Interestingly, a
complaint was lodged with the EC before the day of polling seeking to scrap Lamichhane’s candidacy from Chitwan-2 constituency
alleging that the copy of the citizenship that he had submitted while filing his candidacy was not valid.
The EC decided to take up the matter. As per Section 11 of the Citizenship Act, if any citizen of Nepal who has acquired foreign
citizenship returns to reside in Nepal and submits a notification to the designated authority the evidence of renunciation of foreign
citizenship, his/her Nepali citizenship shall be provided again once she/he submits the evidence of renunciation.
As expected, voter turnout declined this time as 61 percent of voters had cast their votes, duly validated, against 74 percent in
2017. Disappointing performance in governance by major three political parties, CPN(UML), CPN(MC} and NC, rampant corruption
and power-centred politics of top leaders, gradually distanced them from the people. The lowered turnout reflects people’s
dissatisfaction and frustration about the greedy political leaders..
Dahal who gave an impression that his party would be the third largest party in the lower house (Pratinidhi Sabha) and the key
factor in formation of new government, is now falling fast in the electorate’s reliability index. Till now only one seat has been won by
the CPN(MC). TheNC, led by the Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, has bagged 11 out of 20 PS seats declared elected so far
and leading in 46 seats while CPN(UML), led by the former PM Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli won three and leading in 42
constituencies. RSP bagged four and seemed set to win in more than eight seats. Rastriya Prajatantra Party, CPN-Unified Socialist
and Nagarik Unmukti Party won one seat each.
Political opportunism seems to have become unbridled. If Maoists are to be indicted for allying with the NC which is ideologically
inimical to Maoists, CPN(UML)joined hands with the Hindu rightwing RPP which is pro-monarchy. And, led by Madhab Nepal, former
PM, he CPN-Unified Socialist is a breakaway formation of CPN(UML). The new party gave up Marxism-Leninism and is now
committed to democratic socialism.
Nagarik Unmukti Party, formed in January 1922 was registered in the name of Ranjita Shrestha, who is wife of Resham
Chaudhary, now serving a life sentence at the Dillibazar Jail on a charge of masterminding the Tikapur massacre in 2015

.Chaudhary was previously with the Loktantrik Samajwadi Party Nepal, which grew in the wake of the split in Janata Samajwadi
Party.
Incredible as it may appear today, the Maoists – then CPN(Maoist) who with 229 seats in the 601-member Constituent Assembly,
played decisive role in the ending of 239 year rule by the monarch that imposed Hinduism as the state religion and framing of a
republican and secular constitution with the provision of proportional representation at the lower house, have been rejected by the
voters.
Unfortunately, there is now an overall disillusionment about the Maoists. Mumaram Khanal, a political analyst and a former Maoist
cadre during the insurgency lashed out at Maoists, as the ones “who didn’t believe in the parliamentary system, joined parliamentary
politics to fulfil their interests, they promoted political instability by forging alliances with unnatural partners and always kept them
engaged in power games.”
Prachanda was a symbol of aspirations for the poverty-dwarfed people when the Maoists were waging a battle underground. In
power, the Maoist messiah presides over the decay of Nepali strain of Maoism.

(IPA Service)