KATHMANDU: With the approaching elections of the constituent assembly political parties have been expediting preparations for electoral alliance to have influence in the new constitution. In this effect, the Upendra Yadav -led Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal (MJF-Nepal) is mulling over an election alliance with the UCPN-Maoist.
Though the party has said it is open to forming an alliance with any ‘like minded’ party, some senior leaders of the party informed that the possibility of it joining hands with the Maoist party is high.
Speaking to a group of journalists at party headquarters, Chairperson of MJF-Nepal Yadav said his party would prefer partnering with the like-minded parties of Madhes, indigenous nationalities and Dalits. Yadav said alliance was possible only with parties that support the MJF-N agenda of federalism and inclusion. He said his party would stick to One Madhes, One Pradesh principle — the mandate of the Madhes movement.
MJF-N leaders say they have not shut the doors for negotiations with other Madhes-centric parties, but that they are reluctant to enter into an alliance with constituent members of the Federal Democratic Madheshi Front (FDMF).
“We are not very keen on poll alliances with other Madhesi parties given our history with them,” said a leader of the party. Two parties in the FDMF—the Bijaya Gachhadar-led Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Ganatantrik—had split from the MJF-Nepal.
The MJF-Nepal on Sunday formed a five-member team under senior leader Bharat Bimal Yadav to forge alliances with ‘like-minded’ parties. The party had earlier held unification talks with the Mahanta Thakur-led Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party. The party also set criteria for selecting candidates for the upcoming election. The requirements include honesty, commitment to the spirit of the Madhes Movement and loyalty towards the party.
Yadav said High Level Political Committee’s agreement with Federal Democratic Front-Nepal led by him had increased the chance of polls being held on the stipulated date, but the government and major parties need to find solutions to all problems raised by Federal Socialist Party and CPN-M led alliance.
“Had the major parties taken all parties into confidence and had the president consulted stakeholders before issuing the 25-point decree, the current problems would not have arisen,” Yadav said.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission (EC) has said that it would start printing the ballot paper with 169 different signs of political parties within three weeks time.
Chief Election Commissioner Nil Kantha Upreti informed that as it would take 40 to 45 days to print 30 million ballot papers, the EC will start printing the ballot paper in three weeks time. The EC had printed about 40 million ballot papers for the Constituent Assembly (CA) election held in April, 2008. But since the EC has registered around 12.5 million voters with photo and biometrics, which is 5.5 million fewer than the total number of voters registered in the previous CA, the EC has also decreased the number of ballot papers going to be printed.
The number of political parties registered with EC has, however, doubled from that of the previous elections, which can create few problems on things such as printing the ballot paper, experts say. Similarly, the EC is all set to start printing voters’ identity card for 12.5 million registered voters in few days time.
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