About 6,000 field candidacies for 240 CA seats in Nepal

Nearly 6,000 candidates from over 100 political parties Thursday fielded their candidacies from 240 constituencies to contest the 2nd Constituent Assembly election slated for November 19 in Nepal.

With the nomination of the candidates for the 240 First-Past-The-Post seats of the 601-member Constituent Assembly in a peaceful environment, it is now almost sure that the election would be held on the slated date.

When the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist), a breakaway fraction of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal  (UCPN-Maoist), decided to boycott and disrupt the polls, it was speculated whether the candidates could filed their candidacies. But they failed to disrupt the nomination process even in a single constituency.

“The nomination process was not disrupted anywhere despite threat from the CPN-Maoist and its allies to do so,” said the spokesperson of Nepal’s Election Commission.

The two groups of the Maoists, which waged a armed conflict in this tiny Himalayan country killing 17,000 people, were together until last year. All four former prime ministers and deputy prime ministers elected after 2008 CA elections, party chiefs and other powerful leaders have fielded their nominations to contest the FPTP election.

UCPN-Maoist chief and former Prime Minisiter Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachnda’ is contesting the polls from Kathmandu and Siraha in eastern Terai.  Former Prime Minister and chairman of Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist and Leninist (CPN-UML)   Jhalanath Khanal is also contesting from two constituencies of eastern hill and Terai.

Likewise, former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is contesting from Kathmandu and central Terai while Dr. Baburam Bhattarai is contesting from western Terai and central hill. Both Nepal and Bhattarai led coalition government formed after 2008 polls.

President of Nepali Congress Sushil Koirala is contesting polls from Chitwan in central Terai and Banke in western Terai. All the leaders reached the offices of the Election Commission leading rallies to field their candidacies.

In Kathmandu, the three major parties–UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML carried separate rallies playing traditional instruments and displaying the party flags before their leaders registered their nominations.

According to analysts, there will be tough competition among the three major parties in almost all constituencies this time. However, in the southern plain, the mushrooming regional parties led by the local leaders dominate.
The UCPN-Maoist had emerged as the largest party in 2008 election. However, this time NC is likely emerge as the largest party due to division in the Maoists.

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