“List of proportional candidates not discussed in the party”

Dhiraj Basnet

September 30, 2022


“List of proportional candidates not discussed in the party”

KATHMANDU: After a long tussle and tug-of-war, the ruling coalition is close to finalizing the homework of seat distribution.

Since October 16 is the final deadline for revising the preliminary list of proportional candidates and October 2 is the time for nominations for the candidacy, the coalition parties have backed away from their previous positions and come close to an agreement.

But even though they claim to have reached an agreement on the seats for the constituencies for direct elections, i.e. for the House of Representatives, except for some of the 165 constituencies, they have not yet reached an agreement on who will get how many seats in the Provincial Assembly.

Based on this issue, Khabarhub’s Dhiraj Basnet approached CPN-Maoist Center Deputy General Secretary Haribol Gajurel for the talks. Excerpts:

This seat allocation took too long. When will it be agreed on exactly?

Yes, the discussion has been very long. The discussion was first focused more on the federal election; later, they decided to take the provincial election together as well, so that everything can be settled together.

This made it a bit complicated. Rather than focusing on the people, the parties became more focused on the seats and the election.

Now they have realized that the election should be connected to the roots, i.e. to the people. All the parties should sit down and discuss why elections are becoming more expensive now.

The seat allocations should be for the protection of the Constitution and the promotion of the people’s interests.

The needs of the people are on one side, it seems that our thoughts have gone to the other side. It did not use to be so before, but why is this happening now? It needs consideration.

There is no instant solution to most of the cases, but as it has reached closer, the parties will agree on all these issues soon.

The Shekhar Koirala group of Nepali Congress even threatened that if the NC establishment does not address their demands, they will announce rebel candidates against the coalition candidates. What do you say about it?

Either the party should conclude there is no relevance of the coalition or it has to abide by the agreements made in the coalition. NC has said that it needs a coalition.

Unfortunately, there is the trend of claiming more than one deserves in the coalition and still ‘reiterating’ that coalition is a must to defeat regression.

And even within the Maoist Center party, if the chairman starts walking alone and holding secret meetings to please himself, wouldn’t you also be dissatisfied?

While preparing this list of proportional candidates, it was necessary to first make a preliminary list and go to consensus, but that was not done. We disagree on that.

What will happen if Shekhar Koirala and Gagan Thapa’s group does not support the coalition?

They will not do so. They have said that a coalition is necessary. It happened before too. It still works today. The intraparty row will be resolved.

After the President’s actions, there are speculations that the elections might be postponed, what do you say about it?

The President’s action has created a mess and a kind of uncertainty. However, if we look at the past, we find that such issues might appear before the election, and disappear soon. Some forces might try to influence the election date if they feel their interests will not be met. However, their attempts will not be successful. We have to hold elections. We have no other option.

You have approached the court against the President’s action, should you wait for the court, or is there any other way?

The constitutional and legal matters will continue in their own way. There is no other way. The parties have not made a final decision on how parties will go against the President’s move. Even if we try to force the President, the problem will not be solved immediately.

How long will you hold on to the coalition and when will you stand alone?

The coalition will go intact in this election. Either the nature of elections should be changed or we have to adopt the present way for the time being. It is the need of the time to counter the regressive and anti-constitutional forces that work to tamper with the Constitution. It is formed to prevent it.

Who will be the Prime Minister after the election provided the coalition bags the majority in the November 20 election?

We have not discussed this issue. There have been various opinions on it; however, there has been no official decision yet. Chairman Prachanda has said that he wants to become the prime minister. But he has also said that he will abide by the agreement.

The Maoist Center should have been almost synonymous with the change institutionalized through the new Constitution. Unfortunately, it did not happen so; as a result, the party got split. Many negative incidents have occurred.