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Expected outcome

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Three days before the extended deadline for Constituent Assembly expires,the nation is awaits not a new constitution but yet another government.

After failing to propose a unanimous candidate, exercise to elect a
majority leader for the government is underway in the Constituent Assembly.

As the CA parties pledge their support, one after the other, UCPN (Maoist) candidate Baburam Bhattarai is already a favourite to win the election. A largest party, the Maoists need only 62 extra votes to prove their majority. The party singed a four-point deal with the Madhesi alliance that has 65 votes in the CA.

Many fringe parties that have a total of 55 votes, have also decided to
support the Maoists. However, Nepal Peasants and Workers Party has
boycotted the election process citing lack of vision and commitment on
contentious issues. RPP (Nepal), which has been objecting the extension ofthe CA has also boycotted the election process.

The Madhesi alliance was undecided until Sunday morning. NC’s 11-point roadmap for peace process could not woo the alliance and they ultimately decided to support the Maoists at the eleventh hour stating that the Maoists were closer to them on issue of state restructuring and federalism. Besides, the alliance also found that by supporting the
Maoists it could get a better power sharing deal.

Earlier CPN-UML supported NC candidate stating, Maoists’ proposal is not convincing enough to move the peace process ahead. NC’s candidate Ram Chandra Poudel was contender in the last election but failed to garner required majority even after 16 rounds of election.
Bhattarai, a popular political personality in contemporary Nepali
politics, is running the election for the first time. In his nine-month
stint as finance minister of the Maoist-led government in 2009, Bhattarai shot in fame with his revenue reform programs and its implementation.

The Madhesi alliance leaders like Hridayesh Tripathi,speaking in the
Constituent Assembly today said, ”Our alliance with the UCPN-M is not be an alliance of compromise, it is based on issues and programs which makes it different and stronger than the earlier marriage of convenience.”

The polling will commence shortly.

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