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Nepal’s ruling alliance gets 136 seats in parliament, barely two short for forming new govt

Two faces of the ruling 5-party alliace—Sher Bahadur Deuba (left) and Pushpa Kamal Dahal (right)

With the conclusion of the vote counting results from the recent elections, major parties have further intensified negotiations to form the new government.

As per the final vote counting results, the five-party ruling coalition under the leadership of the Nepali Congress has secured 136 seats against 138 required to prove a majority in the 275-member House of Representatives.

A political party which achieves a simple majority (means 138 seats in parliament) can form a government under its leadership.

With a hung parliament, the ruling coalition is struggling to gain more seats in parliament. Leaders of the coalition have expedited in-door talks with fringe parties including Chandra Kanta Raut’s Janamat Party and Resham Chaudhary’s Nagarik Unmukti Party.

The two new parties, which have six seats and three seats in parliament respectively, will be the kingmakers in the formation of the new government.

The current alliance includes the Congress, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), the CPN (Unified Socialist), the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party, and the Rastriya Janamorcha.  The alliance, on Monday, decided to continue the existing government and finalize the crucial power-sharing deal as early as possible.

Shakti Basnet, a leader of the ruling CPN (Maoist), said that they are holding in-door negotiations to finalize the modality of power-sharing among the ruling parties.

According to Basnet, the partners in the existing coalition share plum posts such as Prime Minister, President and Speaker of parliament.

“Modalities are being worked out to finalise power-sharing among the ruling parties. If the biggest party in the ruling coalition gets the post of prime minister, the second largest will obviously get the post of president and the third largest will get Speaker of parliament. This way, we will settle the matter,” he told in a recent interview.

On the other hand, the opposition alliance led by Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), has secured 104 seats in parliament. It lacks the required majority to form the government. The alliance has Janata Samajbadi Party and the Kamal Thapal-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party as its members. Even if this alliance backed by new parties including Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), it won’t be able to secure the required majority in the House.

Final vote counting results out, 12 parties will be represented in parliament

On Tuesday night, Nepal’s Election Commission (EC) announced final vote counting results from the elections to the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies held on November 20.

Based on the vote share, the EC allocated the 110 PR seats of parliament among the political parties who crossed a three-percent threshold as per the existing laws, according to authorities.

“Seats under the PR category have been allotted on the vote share of the seven parties crossing the threshold,” Surya Prasad Aryal, an assistant spokesperson for the commission told India Narrative on Wednesday afternoon.

Altogether, 12 political parties have won elections thus they will have their presence in parliament. Of the twelve, seven have gained the ‘national party’ status by crossing a three-percent threshold, according to the commission.

Congress becomes single largest party

The Congress has emerged as the single largest party with 89 seats as the counting of votes under the proportional representation (PR) category concluded on Tuesday.

As per the seat allocation made by the EC under the PR category, the NC bagged 32 seats. Earlier, the party won 57 seats of the lower house under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) category. Combined, the party has managed to secure 89 seats in parliament.

The KP Sharma Oli-led Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), the main opposition party, will have a total strength of 78 seats in the lower house of parliament, to become the second largest party. The UML won 44 seats under the FPTP category while it obtained 34 seats under the PR category.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center), a key partner in the incumbent Sher Bahadur Deuba-led coalition government, has ranked a distant third with 32 seats in parliament. The party led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a two-time prime minister and a former rebel leader, has obtained 14 seats under the PR category. Earlier, the party won 18 seats under the FPTP category.

Newly-established RSP gets 20 seats, becomes fourth largest force

The Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) led by former journalist Ravi Lamichhane, which contested elections for the first time, has managed to acquire 13 seats under the PR category. It won seven seats under the FPTP category. Combined, the RSP has secured 20 seats becoming the fourth largest party in parliament.

Pro-monarchy and pro-Hindu Rastriya Prajatantra Party led by Rajendra Lingden has become the fifth largest party in parliament with 14 seats (including seven seats under the FPTP).

Madhes-centric Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) led by Upendra Yadav became the sixth largest party by bagging 12 seats (including seven seats under the FPTP) in parliament.

Madhav Nepal’s CPN (US) fails to get PR seats

The Madhav Kumar Nepal-led Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Socialist), another key partner in the Deuba-led government, has been ranked as seventh largest party in parliament with 10 seats under the FPTP category. According to the election body, the party could not secure any seats under the PR category as it failed to cross a minimum three percent of the valid votes.

The Chandra Kant Raut-led Janamat party, which also contested elections for the first time, won one seat under the FPTP and five seats under the PR category in the House of Representatives. With this, the party has emerged as the second largest political outfit from Terai-Madhes region in Nepal’s parliament after the JSP. The region shares an open border and strong socio-cultural affinity with India.

The Loktantrik Samajbadi Party (LSP) led by Mahantha Thakur, another political outfit from Terai-Madhes region, has won four seats in the House of Representatives. However, the party failed to secure seats under the PR category as could not cross a minimum three percent of the valid votes.

The Nagarik Unmukti Party (NUP), which has its root in far-western Kailali district, has won three seats in the lower house under the FPTP category.

The Rashtriya Janamorcha (RJ) led by Chitra Bahadur KC, which is also an ally in the current government, has won one seat. The Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party (NWPP), also known as the Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party, has won one seat in parliament. Three fringe parties—NUP, RJ and NWPP— also failed to get PR seats.

Five independents win polls

Apart from candidates from various political parties, five individuals won elections to the House of Representatives under the FPTP category in the independent capacity.

General elections were held for a second time on November 20, seven years after Nepal adopted a republican constitution in 2015.  The first such polls took place in 2017.

Out of 275 members of the House of Representatives, 165 have been elected through direct voting (first-past-the-post) and the remaining 110 elected through proportional representation (PR) category. Similarly, out of 550 members of the provincial assemblies, 330 were elected directly and 220 were elected through the PR system.

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