KATHMANDU: Ending nearly a-decade-long political transition after the Comprehensive Peace Accord and longstanding political instability, the left alliance of the CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist Centre) has accomplished a landslide victory, trouncing the current ruling Nepali Congress (NC) with a significant margin.
Out of 165 in the first-past-the-post electoral system, the left alliance has won 116 seats along with sufficient votes to command a comfortable majority in the house to lead the government for the next five years. The candidates of the left alliance achieved a mammoth victory especially in the hilly districts except in Gorkha-2, Dadeldhura and Rasuwa districts. Incumbent Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba emerged victorious in Dadeldhura while former Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai won the polls in Gorkha-2 with support from the Nepali Congress and Nepali Congress candidate Mohan Acharya routed UML candidate in Rasuwa. Despite, massive win in the hilly constituencies, the strength of the left alliance did not prove enough to challenge the coalition of the Madesh-centric parties in Province No. 2.
If things go as planned without any major hiccups, the left alliance is likely to form a new communist government, most probably, under the leadership of CPN (UML) Chairman KP Sharma Oli. The very ordeal of the left parties that always prevail in the country with great support from the voters begins from this point because the divided communists are forging the electoral alliance with the promise for party unification, a major episode in country’s communist background emerged after 2019 BS. “Our commitment to political stability, development, prosperity and socialism coupled with electoral alliance of the two strongest communist parties resulted in a grand victory,” CPN (Maoist Centre) Headquarters Member Mani Thapa said.
However, there are some analysts claiming anti-incumbency as a factor benefiting the parties in the left alliance for a surprisingly strong showing nationwide, to hand defeats to some heavyweight politicians of the ruling party as well.
With the victory in polls, the upcoming government is sure to encounter many problems and it shall have an acute pressure to deliver from day one. “Establishing a new society and social order based on equality and justice and sweeping away the exploitation, corruption and injustice should be the focus of the new government, Thapa added. He was of the view that new government will have no time to wait and see. “We have to work from day one with firm determination to satiate the people’s thrust for development and good governance. And, we have to ensure federalism works for the grassroots people.”
Likewise, CPN (UML) leader Rabindra Adhikari said, “Those advocating for a left alliance should move ahead with high sensitivity in respect of the people’s verdict. The major challenge facing UML and Maoist Centre is preserving the alliance and materializing the party unification.”
Adhikari, who is also regarded as the minister-in-waiting, said left alliance is the need of the hour for the greater good of the country and the people have used their sovereign franchise through voting for the same. So, the left alliance should work for the people’s welfare.
Even after the victory, the UML and Maoist Centre leaders have repeatedly touted the rhetoric of peace, development, stability, prosperity and ultimately the socialism. People have also kept their fingers crossed over the promises that leaders have been making till date after the announcement of alliance, which took place immediately after the Dashain festival. However, the politicians have yet not revealed the characteristics of Nepali socialism and its distinction from that of the welfare state.
The verdict of elections delivered once is not perennial but is rather periodic. This time people voted for the alliance candidates with high hopes for political stability, development and prosperity– the three things that Nepalis have been yearning for decades. So, the next prime minister and the left alliance have a mountain of challenges to tackle.
Leader Adhikari, who won the polls from Kaski for the third straight time, adds that the immediate priority of the government should be to mainstreaming the people of all societies in development through infrastructure development, maximum utilization of water resources and development of human resources to ultimately create employment opportunities and entrepreneurship development.
It’s for sure that the left alliance is not a panacea for development but people have not pinned their hopes on other political forces except the left alliance at least for this time. So, the leaders, ideologues and economists from the left block should work seriously to meet the aspirations of the general folks. Their mettle lies in this very point.