Saturday, April 26, 2008

Maoists bag 100 PR seats, says EC

Razen Manandhar
Kathmandu, April 25:

The CPN-Maoist bagged the most Constituent Assembly seats under the Proportional Representation (PR) system too by winning 100 seats out of the total 335 seats allocated for the PR system.

The Maoists had polled 3,144,204 (29.85 per cent) votes out of the 10,739,078 votes cast under the PR system.

The Maoists have already secured 120 seats under the first-past-the-post system. With the PR results, Maoists will have 220 seats (36.6 per cent) in the 601-member assembly.

Fifty-four political parties out of the 74 registered in the EC had taken part in the election under the PR system. Of them, only 25 parties have secured at least one seat in the CA through this system.

The NC, which stood second in direct polls by winning 37 seats, bagged 73 seats under the PR system. It polled 2,269,883 votes (21.79 per cent). The CPN-UML got 70 seats with 2,183,370 votes (20.90 per cent). The MJF bagged 22 seats under PR system. MJF got 6.57 per cent votes of the total votes cast under PR system. Another Tarai-based party, TMDP, got 11 seats with 3,338,930 votes under the PR system.

Both the CPN-ML and the RPP stand sixth in the hierarchy with eight seats each. They have won no seat under direct polls. The RPP polled 263,431 votes and the CPN-ML polled 243,545 votes. The Sadbhawana Party and the CPN-United have secured five seats each under the PR system with 167,517 votes and 154,968 votes, respectively.

The RJP and People’s Front Nepal have secured three seats each and the NWPP, Rastriya Janamukti Party, CPN-Unified, NSP-A, Nepali Janata Dal, Sanghiya Loktantrik Rashtriya Manch secured two seats each.

The Samajbadi Janta Party, Dalit Janajati Party, Nepal Pariwar Dal, Nepaa Rastriya Party, Nepal Loktantrik Samajbadi Party and the Chure Bhawar Rastriya Ekata Party bagged one seat each in the CA.
Though the CPN-United Marxist had fielded 100 candidates under PR system, it could not win even a single seat. The CPN-Unified, which had fielded 328 candidates, won only two seats. It is the fourth largest party after the NC, UML and Maoists in terms of the number of candidatesit fielded under PR system.

Announcing the PR results, chief election commissioner Bhojraj Pokhrel asked the political parties to submit by May 2 the names of candidates whom they want to send to the CA from their closed lists of candidates. The seats under the PR system were allocated on the basis of the proportion of the total valid votes to the votes polled by the parties, the EC said in a release.

Out of the 11,146,540 votes cast under the PR system, 407,462 were invalid. Over 63 per cent of the total eligible voters had cast their votes under the PR system.

267,448 votes wasted
KATHMANDU: 267,448 votes secured by 29 parties under the PR system went useless as the votes bagged by those parties failed to win any seat. It needed 23,512 votes for the Nepal Pariwar Dal to secure one seat, while CPN-Marxist failed to win a seat with 21,234 votes. For Maoists, they needed 31,442 votes to win a seat. On an average, smaller parties, which secured 0.22 to 0.38 per cent of the valid votes, won at least one seat. — HNS
[ KATHMANDU, APRIL 26, 2008, Baikash 14, 2065 ]

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Janajati first-timers send bigwigs packing

Razen Manandhar
Kathmandu, April 21:

Poll candidates from ethnic communities, sidelined by political parties for long, sprung a surprise this time around, defeating many iconic figures of Nepali politics.

Former Prime Minister and RJP chairman Surya Bahadur Thapa, who had won all three elections, was defeated in Dhanakuta 2 by Maoist Hriaraj Limbu with a margin of 6,867 votes.

RPP chairman Pahsupati Shamsher Rana was in the poll-fray in Sidhupalchok 1 and 3, but was routed by Maoist candidates Rajkumar Shrestha and Dawa Tamang.

Joining the league of newcomers, Lal Bahadur Susling beat former deputy prime minister and UML candidate Bharatmohan Adhikari in Morang 2.

No different was the fate of UML leader and former deputy prime minister KP Sharma Oli, who was in the fray in Jhapa-7. Oli was defeated by another new face, Maoist candidate Bishwadip Lingden.

Janajati leader Purna Singh Rajbanshi defeated Home Minister and central committee member of the NC Krishna Sitaula in Jhapa-3.

Minister for Water Resources Gyanendra Bahadur Karki was beaten by Padam Bahadur Rai of the CPN-M in Bhojpur-1.
Former finance minister and NC candidate Mahesh Acharya was beaten by Bhimraj Chaudhari Rajbahshi of the MJF. Another former minister and NC candidate Bal Bahadur KC was defeated by Gopal Kirati in Solukhumbu-1.

Former Minister for Physical Planning and Works Chiranjibi Wagle was defeated in Gorkha 1 by by little-known Maoist candidate Parbati Thapa with a record margin of 31,464 votes.

Defeat of some other well-known leaders of well-known parties by ethnic leaders is equally surprising. Jayapuri Gharti of the CPN-M defeated NC leader Madhav Acharya in Rolpa 1, Devi Lal Chaudhary of the CPN-M defeated NC leader Narayan Prasad Saud in Kanchanpur-2 and Akkal Bahadur Thing of the CPN-M defeated UML leader Keshav Badal in Kabhre-2. NC leader Udaya Shamsher Rana was defeated by Maoist Barshaman Pun in Lalitpur-2.
[ KATHMANDU, APRIL 22, 2008, Baishakh 10, 2065 ]

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Janajatis upbeat after poll showing; bag 82 seats

Razen Manandhar
Kathmandu, April 19:

Results of the Constituent Assembly (CA) polls have paved the way for a greater participation of the Janajatis in politics.

Out of 226 elected members of the CA, 82 belong to different ethnic groups. This means around 38 per cent members of the CA will be Janajatis. According to an estimate, Janajatis constitute 37 per cent of the total population.

In earlier elections, the ethic groups were either discouraged by the party leadership from coming into the central level or they themselves were indifferent to party politics. There were only 31 Janajati MPs in the earlier parliament, which had 205 MPs.

Of the total elected CA members, 50 belong to the CPN-Maoist, while the NC and UML each have 10 Janajati CA members. The remaining 12 members are from Madheshi-oriented parties like the Madheshi Janadhikar Forum, Tarai Madheshi Democratic Party and the Sadbhawana Party.

The Magars have won 14 seats, the Newars 13 seats, the Tharus have 12 seats and the Gurungs have won 10 seats. The Rais and Tamangs have won 8 seats each, while the Limbus have bagged 7 seats. Other smaller ethnic groups have secured remaining 10 seats.

Only 12 Newars, 7 Limbus and 6 Gurungs were in the former parliament. The Rais and the Tamangs had two seats for each of them, while two other seats belonged to other minor communities.

In comparison, the Magars have shown a drastic presence in politics by turning from non-present in the former parliament to 14 seats this time. The Tharus, which had no representation in the former parliament, have bagged 12 seats this time. The Tamangs, who held only 2 seats in the former parliament, have bagged eight seats. This time too, the Limbus have bagged 7 seats. Compared to the former parliament, the presence of the Newars has gone down by two seats.

Interestingly, the Janajatis have saved face of the two major parties — the NC and the UML — in this election. Both the parties had been criticised for discriminating against the Janajatis while distributing “tickets”.

But Janajati leaders, who got party tickets, secured almost one-third of total seats won by both the parties. Ten out of 35 CA members, who were elected on NC ticket, were Janajatis. Out of 31 CA members elected on UML ticket, 10 were Janajatis.
[KATHMANDU, APRIL 20, 2008, Baishakh 08, 2065 ]

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Counting begins amid disputes in Gorkha

Razen Manandhar
Gorkha, April 11
Vote counting in Gorkha Constituency No 2 of began this evening amidt dissatisfaction, complains and aggressions.Polling was continued in the district despite walkouts of agents of other political parties than the CPN-Maoist in many polling centres.Barkrishna Uprety, the returning officer, said that the counting votes in Constituency No 2 began this evening. He also said that the ballot boxes of Constituency No 1 have also been collected in the headquarters.

"Counting of votes in Constituency No 3 might take one more day as ballot boxes have to be collected by helicopter," he said.

"Hopefully, we will begin counting of the votes in Constituency no 3 tomorrow because all the ballot boxes have arrived in Sirdibas, the collection centre, and a helicopter will bring them soon here in the district headquarters," he said.

CDO Jiban Prasad Oli said that the election in Gorkha was a success because nothing untowards happened.Baburam Thapa, the UML contender from constituency 1 said that his party has nothing to do with the vote-counting. "We cannot accept this kind of election. We will not be present in this vote-counting," he said.Parvati Thapa Shrestha, the Maoist contender said that the election was fair.
[2008 april 12]

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Many applicants for observers rejected

Razen Manandhar/Madan Wagle

Damauli, April 8
Out of over 1,000 applicants for National Observers, only 650 were given identity cards here because the rest did not meet the requirements.

"We issued only 650 cards to the observers as others have not passed SLC and those who have passed are known to be political activists," said Ram Chandra Tiwari, the District Election Office of Tanahu.

He also said that even the issued cards could be scrapped as investigation was going on for those cards as well.
"We have asked all the observation organisations to return cards of those who are not fit to be observers. And some have obeyed us," he said. He added that many observation organisations could not educate the would-be observers and many could have applied for observes with some vested interests.

A meeting was held here today to discuss the duties and responsibility of the observers. According to him, though the international observers are here to express their goodwill and to ‘learn from our experiences’, some problems were seen in dealing with national observers.

All over the country, over 60,000 national observers affiliated to 148 organisations are being deployed to polling centres.

"The preparations for the election completed today," he said adding: "We have dispatched all election materials to 314 polling centres and also have deputed all the staffers in their respective areas of duty."

"The materials have reached the polling centres," he said.

Around 3,600 staffers are being deputed in the district. Among them, 1,900 are sent from district headquarters and they will hire an additional 1,700 volunteers at the local level. The team will be under supervision of the 700 polling offers and deputy polling officers, who had been in training of the Election Commission. The staffers today started putting election notices in all polling centres.

In Tahahu, 34 contenders are contesting for three seats. For this, 267,618 voters will cast their votes from 314 polling centres, out of which six are temporary. The district has one municipality and 46 village development committees. Chok High School of Rampuretar kha is the smallest centre with 348 voters, while the polling centre of Kalika High School of Dumre Kharka kha is the biggest, with 1,147 voters.

"The security management have been complete in the district," Chief District Officer of Tanahu Kashinath Marashini said. "Security teams have been deployed in all polling centres and other areas. We are confident of our security management," he said.
[2008 april 9}