NC has sent proposal for an electoral alliance: UML leader Pandey

Dhiraj Basnet

March 28, 2022


NC has sent proposal for an electoral alliance: UML leader Pandey

With the local elections around the corner, major political parties have started engaging in election-centric campaigns.

The main opposition party — the CPN-UML — has intensified its preparations for the election at the district and municipal levels along with training programs at the province level.

In this context, various alliances and coordination efforts have also gained momentum.

UML Vice Chairman Surendra Pandey expressed his view in a conversation with Dhiraj Basnet of Khabarhub focusing on the local level election including the election strategy of the UML and the possibility of an electoral alliance. Excerpts:

Is CPN-UML considering an electoral alliance? If so, is it that UML is not in a position to contest the election without any alliance?

First of all, our party is preparing to contest the elections without an alliance. We are confident that we will win the election by our own strength.

We have intensified various programs to strengthen, expand and hold meetings of the party. We have reached out to the villages for the election campaign.

A significant number of people have been joining our party. This also confirms the attraction of the people towards the UML party.

On this basis, we will fight and win the election alone. We have not made up our minds to make an electoral alliance with any other party.

However, this does not mean that UML will not forge an electoral alliance in the local election. Depending on the need, cooperation can be done with any party depending on the district.

Does this mean that the electoral alliance can be made with CK Raut, Biplab and others who have not joined the ruling coalition and are looking for space?

Not at all! In most of the elections held after the 1990 People’s Movement, the CPN-UML and the Nepali Congress have been seen as the main rivals.

At that time, the CPN-UML had decided not to coordinate with the Nepali Congress. However, if we talk about the local elections of 2049 BS, there was coordination with the Nepali Congress in Tehrathum and Sindhupalchowk because Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) was strong there. Such alliance cannot be ruled out this time as well.

In some districts, the Nepali Congress has sent proposals for an electoral alliance. Now, the question is: why did NC, which is allying with the Maoist Center and Unified Socialist, send a proposal to forge an electoral alliance with the UML in Rukum and Rolpa? It’s because both Congress and UML are weak there.

In some such places, there was an electoral alliance with the Nepali Congress even in the past. It can happen even today.

Is it possible for UML to cooperate with CK Raut, Biplav and others?

Possibilities cannot be ruled out. However, we have not yet decided on the issue. Let them make the decision. If they approach us, the party may feel the need. But UML can forge an alliance with other parties as well.

Has the UML held any internal discussions on how to forge an electoral alliance with other parties?

No. So far we have not discussed with any party for an electoral alliance. The local level may coordinate with any party according to the necessity.

Talking about internal discussions at the party, there have some informal discussions. So far, the issue of the electoral alliance has not been formally discussed.

The Election Commission has made a provision that the incumbent people’s representative wanting to contest the local polls should resign from the post. However, the Supreme Court has issued an interim order not to implement it immediately. Why is the UML objecting to this?

This issue has come out abruptly. The question is: Will the government remain at the center after the dissolution of the parliament?

Do ministers resign before contesting the elections? Have we been practicing it? Does the Prime Minister leave his/her post after the dissolution of the Parliament?

When this rule does not imply at the center, why should we try to apply it at the local level? However, local-level vacancies have not been envisaged in the constitution.

The Election Commission saying that it has taken such a decision to provide equal provision to all?

If the Election Commission has taken such a decision, then I would like to ask one question: If it is a matter of equal status, will Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba resign from the post and contest the election to the House of Representatives?

There has been an allegation that UML is protesting as the party does not have a new candidate in the local elections?

People’s representatives who have done exemplary work can be repeated. Now, in case the party wants to pick such a person, did this provision of the Election Commission stop it? It is not a matter of one person. The person has the right to contest the election again.

However, according to the constitution, a person can only work for two terms in the same position at the local level.

No matter how many times the same person can become the Prime Minister, the mayor, deputy mayor, or ward chairman can only be for two terms. Therefore, the rights given by the constitution should not be taken away.