Parties busy selecting candidates for three National Assembly seats in Gandaki

Bijay Nepal 03 Jan 2024
Parties busy selecting candidates for three National Assembly seats in Gandaki Kaski District Judge Keshav Prasad Bastola (cente), who has been designated Election Officer for Gandaki Province, along with other government officials. Photo: Himal Press

POKHARA: Political parties are currently finalizing their candidates from Gandaki Province for the National Assembly election scheduled for January 25.

The Election Commission is holding the election to fill 19 seats, including three seats in Gandaki Province (women, physically challenged individuals, and others), that are becoming vacant on March 4. Two CPN-UML members in the National Assembly – Chairman Ganesh Prasad Timalisina and Deepa Gurung – and Prakash Pantha of Nepali Congress from Gandaki Province are completing their terms.

The Gandaki Province Committee of Nepali Congress (NC) has recommended 175 names for the three positions. The list includes Province Committee Chair Shukra Raj Sharma, General Secretary Kiran Babu Shrestha, former Speaker Tara Nath Ranabhat, former Minister Yagya Bahadur Thapa, former Chairman of FNCCI Ananda Raj Mulmi, and many leaders who faced defeats in previous local body, province assembly, and House of Representatives elections.

On the other hand, CPN-UML is preparing to recommend three names for each vacant seat. UML Gandaki Chairman Navaraj Sharma said that they would submit the names to the party by Wednesday. CPN (Maoist Center) is also proposing three names for each seat, according to Maoist Center’s Gandaki Province Committee Chair Gayatri Gurung.

According to Rudra Nath Neupane, the officiating chief of the Gandaki Provincial Election Office, the province has 230 voters – 60 provincial assembly members and 170 chiefs/deputy chiefs of 85 local units. These voters collectively carry a combined vote weight of 6,410.

Although NC is in a position to win all three seats in the province, given its total vote weight of 2,704, the ruling coalition, which includes CPN (Maoist Center) and some fringe parties, has stated that it would field common candidates by allying in the election. UML and Maoist Center carry vote weights of 2,458 and 994, respectively.

Published On: 03 Jan 2024


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