NC joins forces with five parties for poll alliance

October 05, 2017

A day after the two major leftist forces CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre), along with the Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Party-Nepal, announced a broader electoral alliance, the ruling party Nepali Congress (NC) decided to form an electoral alliance of ‘democratic forces’ for the upcoming provincial and federal parliamentary elections. 

Senior leaders of Nepali Congress are seen during the party’s working committee meeting in Baluwatar, Kathmandu.Post Photo: Shaligram Tiwari

The NC started reaching out to the Rastriya Janta Party-Nepal (RJP-N), the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik, the Kamal Thapa-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party and the Pashupati Shumsher Rana-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Prajatantrik) and the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal led by Upendra Yadav.

Before long, a meeting of the six parties convened by NC President and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba at Baluwatar on Wednesday evening decided to form a seven-member taskforce to finalise details for forming a broader democratic alliance.

The taskforce will have two members from the NC, one member each from the five parties. The taskforce will hold its first meeting on Thursday morning, according to NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi. “The parties have reached a consensus on forming an electoral alliance among the democratic and federal forces,” Nidhi said after the meeting.

During the meeting, the five parties requested the NC to take a lead in forming such an alliance. The parties also assured their ‘unflinching’ support to the government. Deuba said that the left alliance has posed a threat to the federal and provincial elections but the government is committed to hold the elections on November 26 and December 7 as scheduled.

On Tuesday, the UML, Maoist Centre and Naya Shakti Party-Nepal had signed a six-point agreement which they termed as a ‘milestone’ in Nepali politics and the beginning of a progressive alliance that would unify other leftist and democratic forces that advocate for change. 

Earlier on Wednesday, a meeting of NC’s Working Committee at Baluwatar had decided to expedite talks with ‘democratic parties’ to form such an alliance. The meeting concluded that there was no alternative to forming a democratic alliance to counter the leftist forces. 

In the meeting, NC President and PM Deuba tabled a proposal on the formation of a boarder democratic alliance, with other members of the party’s top echelon quickly lending their voice. 

The party maintains that the left alliance is not a good indication for democracy. “A broader democratic alliance is the need of the hour to strengthen the democratic forces in the country,” said NC Central Working Committee member Arjun Narasingh KC. 

Earlier on Tuesday, an office bearer meeting of the party had concluded that its coalition partner Maoist Centre’s decision to forge alliance with the UML was “unexpected and unusual”. 

During Wednesday’s party meeting, Deuba informed fellow Congress leaders that he had tried to convince Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal by offering him the premiership to continue the alliance between the two parties, but Dahal turned down the offer.

Source: Kathmandu Post