Maoists fear absence of FPTP candidates may hit PR votesWith little presence in Kathmandu for direct election, the CPN (Maoist Centre) faces difficulty in reaching out to voters for proportional representation seats in places where the party has no first-past-the-post candidates.
With little presence in Kathmandu for direct election, the CPN (Maoist Centre) faces difficulty in reaching out to voters for proportional representation seats in places where the party has no first-past-the-post candidates.
Since the party has no FPTP candidates in around 60 percent of the total constituencies, Maoist leaders fear that the PR votes could drop significantly.
With few candidates in the fray for FPTP seats in Kathmandu, party leaders sense a problem after UML’s teams have been campaigning alone in many parts of Kathmandu.
Of the total 30 seats in Kathmandu for both the polls, the Maoist Centre has fielded Anil Sharma in Kathmandu-1, Jhakku Subedi in Kathmandu-6 and Hitman Shakya in Kathmandu-10 in federal parliamentary seats and Rudra Baraili in 3(A), Umesh Sthapit in 8(A) and Dilip Maharjan in 10 (A).
“We are in confusion how to manage publicity campaigns in places where we don’t have candidates,” said Lekhnath Neupane, the Maoists’ Kathmandu district in-charge, adding that the UML teams had been “ignoring us” in most places.
The situation is comparable in constituencies across the country where a UML member is the common candidate of the left alliance. The party’s headquarters member and PR candidate Mani Thapa said the situation is generally complex in 60 percent of the constituencies where the party does not have candidates contesting direct elections. He asked the party to come up with a plan to manage campaigns and to also deploy PR candidates effectively. “If the party fails to sort this issue on time, the party could face a huge loss in PR seats,” Thapa said.
Party Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal, who is the candidate of the left alliance in Lalitpur-3, said both the Maoist Centre and the UML share the difficult situation.
But the problem has been more severe for the Maoist Centre because the UML has a strong base across the country as a party that won the most number of seats in the recent local level elections.
Bhusal said the party has not managed any resources for the polls and therefore candidates need to generate necessary resources by themselves besides seeking possible support from local party committees.
“We need to have presence in the most densely populated constituencies where we don’t have candidates,” Neupane said, adding that the party was indifferent to the concerns of the local committees.
The Maoist Centre’s mayoral candidate for Kathmandu, Sarvottam Dongol received only 7,906 votes when the UML’s Bidhya Sundar Shaky was elected with 64,913 votes.
However, UML leader Krishna Gopal Shrestha, who is also a candidate for Kathmandu-9, claimed that the two parties have been campaigning together with cadres who are not FPTP candidates canvassing for votes for their party in the PR category.
Left alliance ruptures in Bhaktapur
After the Bhaktapur district committee of the UML fielded Hari Sharan Lamichhane in Bhaktapur 1(A), on top of the candidacy of Maoist Centre leader DP Dhakal, the alliance has frayed.
Dhakal said the two parties had been campaigning individually, accusing the UML of violating the agreement.
The UML has also listed Lamichhane among its candidates. UML leader Krishna Gopal Shrestha claimed that the two parties have divided one each federal constituency and two provincial seats each in Bhaktapur.