Nepal’s recent political history has been defined by petty party infighting, splits, unlikely mergers and lots of horse-trading. In the days leading up to the candidacy deadline, all eyes had been on Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba-led five-party coalition and electoral alliance as the parties negotiated seat-sharing.
And while Maoist chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal — who political analysts and experts had noted would not hesitate to join hands with his nemesis KP Oli’s UML if offered a better deal and more seats in Parliament — ultimately upheld his commitment to the electoral alliance.
But not all parties of the coalition chose to continue the partnership. On Friday, the Madhes-based JSP (Janta Samajwadi Party) quit the five-party electoral partnership after failing to reach a seat sharing agreement, and instead switched alleigance to the UML instead.
Subsequently, Mahanta Thakur’s LSP (Loktantrik Samajwadi Party), the other Madhes-based party which split from JSP in 2021 and had been in talks to partner with the UML to contest the November election, formed a partnership with the Deuba-led electoral alliance.
After negotiations, coalition leader NC is to contest 89 parliamentary seats, the Maoists secured 45 seats, while Madhav Kumar Nepal’s CPN (Unified Socialists) will get to fight 19 seats and the smaller Rastriya Janamorcha Party 2 seats. The new ally LSP will contest 8 federal parliament seats.
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