Oli urges party cadres to keep calmBlaming other parties’ “ganging up” against the CPN-UML for its poor performance in the local elections in Province 2, Chairman KP Sharma Oli on Friday urged party members not to be disheartened by the latest results.
Blaming other parties’ “ganging up” against the CPN-UML for its poor performance in the local elections in Province 2, Chairman KP Sharma Oli on Friday urged party members not to be disheartened by the latest results.
As of 10pm on Friday, the UML had won 8 local units and was leading in 13. The Maoist Centre had registered win in 14 local units while the party was leading in 13. The Nepali Congress is the frontrunner with victories in 27 local federal units.
A meeting of the UML Central Committee has citied at least three reasons behind the outcome in Province 2–decisions to increase the number of local units ahead of elections, violation of the election code of conduct and misuse of state resources. The party is also of the view that the ruling as well as Madhes-based parties launched a campaign to portray the UML in negative light in the Madhes.
Political analysts, however, attributed the results to the UML’s position on constitution amendment. Surendra Labh, a professor at the Janakpur-based Ramswarup Ramsagar Multiple Campus, said the outcome is a big lesson for the party. “The UML should learn from the election results. It should be flexible about the demands of Madhes-based parties,” he said.
Some party leaders close to senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal have said the anti-Madhes rhetoric of Oli pushed the party back in the Madhes. The UML has consistently maintained that there was no need for constitution amendment as demanded by the Madhes-based parties.
During their poll campaigns, the NC, Madhes-based parties and the CPN (Maoist Centre) flayed the UML as an “anti-Madhes” force. UML leaders say they were restricted from campaigning in the eight districts of Province 2. According to a leader, the UML hoped to win 50 local bodies in the province. As the UML faced widespread criticism, it maintained a low profile in the election campaign, according to observers. Chairman Oli spent just one day campaigning though other senior leaders toured the districts extensively.
The results show the Maoist Centre has gained some ground in the Madhes which it had lost in the second Constituent Assembly elections. The party won just 8 seats in the 2013 elections in the eight districts where the UML claimed 14 seats.
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal invested a lot of time and energy in Province 2 ahead of the third-phase vote.