After the successful completion of its local-level polls, Nepal is currently heading towards its most-awaited provincial and parliamentary elections to elect the House of Representatives.
Nepal’s legislative election 2017, to be held in two phases on November 26 and December 7, 2017, is being considered as one of the key chapters in Nepali politics to end political turmoil and bring political transformation in the country.
This election holds significance as it also forms base for the formation of new Nepali Constitution that the country has been waiting for since more than two years.
While the Election Commission and the Government of Nepal are already busy in preparations, the candidates are brain storming for testing their luck!
Even though long-awaited, the actual heat around the legislative and parliamentary polls started with the announcement of unexpected broader alliances among leftist and democratic parties, respectively.
In a major move in the Nepali political landscape, the two major communist parties CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre formed a grand alliance and have already finalized their seat sharing in 165 parliamentary and 330 provincial constituencies for these First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) elections.
Both the partners have agreed upon a 60:40 seat sharing ratio with UML placing its candidates in 81 parliamentary constituencies and CPN-MC in 77 places, and independents in seven seats.
The left alliance filed its nominations for 37 Parliamentary FPTP constituencies in 32 districts that are set for election on November 26, 2017.
Apart from that, the Federal Democratic Forum-Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal formed alliance in Province 2, and the two Madhes-based parties aligned and two Rastriya Prajatantra Parties aligned with the Nepali Congress in some constituencies.
Following leftist alliance, the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) had also announced of forming a seven-member democratic alliance to fight leftist alliance.
However, the announcement was a jolt to NC owing to the CPN-Maoist Centre party’s crucial coalition in the ruling government led by NC President and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Condemning the communist alliance, Deuba called on the citizens to vote for his Nepali Congress (NC) party.
“Like it or dislike it, the country needs the NC,” said Deuba at a public meeting held to announce the NC’s manifesto for parliamentary and provincial polls, while also reiterating his party’s commitment to effective functioning of federal governance in the country.
Besides NC and the new leftist alliance, there exists another political force of Madhes-based parties that hold strong base in Terai region.
Two important Madhes-based parties, Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N), stood second and third, respectively, in the recently-held local elections of Province No 2, in southeastern Nepal.
In response to the Nepali authorities’ request, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Nepal to monitor the provincial and parliamentary polls for electing House of Representatives.
EU considers this as fulfilling its long-term commitment to Nepal as part of bilateral ties.
“It is a great honor for me to lead the EU Election Observation Mission to Nepal. The forthcoming elections are taking place under a new political and electoral system. I’m very committed to accompany Nepal in this important phase of its democratic process,” says Ms Zeljana Zovko, Chief Observer of EOM.
EU had appointed similar missions in 2008 and 2013 as well.