The Nepali Congress (NC) appears prepared to stake its claim to form a new government in Nepal as it has emerged as a front-runner in the second Constituent Assembly election that was held a week ago. The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) followed a close second. As both these political parties had formed a reasonably good partnership on most issues for the new constitution in the last assembly, their combined performance is moving closer to achieving a two-thirds majority under the proportional representation system.
The voter’s preference in this election after counting more than 60 percent of the votes has set a clear trend that the two parties together will secure a strong majority and have a decisive say in the formation of the government and the drafting of the constitution in Nepal although both parties have yet to hold formal consultations on the formation of the government.
In fact, the NC has emerged as a clear front-runner in both the electoral formats. It has won 105 seats under the direct election of candidates and has secured 26 percent of the votes under the proportional representation system thus far. The CPN (UML) is a close second with 91 seats and 25 percent. The largest party in the last assembly- the UPCN (Maoist) which has set certain preconditions for joining the Constituent Assembly- is in a distant third position, with 26 seats a little over 15 per cent of the votes under the PR electoral system. The UPCN (Maoist) had begun to distance itself from the counting process as the trend of election results started surfacing. It has levelled serious allegations of irregularities in the election by claiming that ballot boxes were changed during transportation therefore the counting of ballots must be reviewed. But the election Commission has rejected these allegations. In fact, national and international observers have declared the election free and fair.
Three names are mentioned as possible prime ministers including two CPN (UML) leaders and Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal (both former prime ministers) and the NC president Sushil Koirala is also mentioned. According to Minendra Rijal of NC, Sushil Koirla is the natural choice for the party and the Party’s top trio – Koirala, Sher Bahaur Deuba and Ram Chandra Paudel – would make the decision. “There is a general feeling in the party that Mr. Koirla should be the new Prime Minister.”
Whosoever becomes the next prime minister from the Nepali Congress or the Communist Party of Nepal, the question of peace and stability and success in the drafting of a new constitution will depend on the Maoists who have connections with global terror networks and will always try to obstruct and destabilize the peace process after the formation of the government by whatever means possible in their effort to seize power.