Morcha takes ‘wait and see’ approach to pollMadhesi parties will wait till candidate selection to decide whether to take part in or boycott the presidential election.
Madhesi parties will wait till candidate selection to decide whether to take part in or boycott the presidential election.
Leaders of the regional parties said their participation in the election is likely if the Nepali Congress agrees to pick President and Vice President candidates agreeable to them.
The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM), which participated in the prime minister election, has been in informal talks with leaders of the Nepali Congress to decide the names of candidates. “We intend to vote only if the NC agrees to file a candidate acceptable to our constituency. Discussions are going on to decide the candidates,” said a leader of Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal.
SSFN Chairman Upendra Yadav and Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Chair Mahantha Thakur had discussed the possibility of filing common candidates for the top two posts. There has been no agreement over the names so far. Leaders said they had mulled over the candidacy of incumbent President Ram Baran Yadav and Thakur as the head of state.
Morcha leaders said they will claim the Vice President’s post if an NC leader decides to run for presidency. It is likely that the Morcha will propose a mutual candidate for the post.
Sadbhawana Party Co-chairman Laxman Lal Karna said they find it hard to decide their candidate due to the criticism on the ground of the protesting parties’ participation in the prime minister election last week.
“But the Morcha will do what is in the best interest of the Madhes and Madhesi people,” said Karna.
SSFN Chairman Yadav said they would take part in the election if the Morcha decides to but he dismissed rumours that the NC was unwilling to support Thakur as the new President.
“It’s a ploy to defame us and weaken our movement,” said Yadav. Several Madhesi fronts including those led separately by Jay Prakash Prasad Gupta and Matrika Yadav, which have no representation in Parliament but are actively engaged in protests—are campaigning against the SLMM leadership following its participation in the PM poll in Parliament.
The SLMM that constitutes four Madhes-based parties has been enforcing a general strike since July citing dissatisfaction over the delineation of federal boundaries and a breach of past accords signed with the Tarai groups.