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Politics

Big four confident, Madhesh-centric in crisis, RPP, RSP may cross 'threshold' under PR

Sagar Neupane

Sagar Neupane

 |  Kathmandu

In the general elections of 2017, a total of 49 parties submitted proportional representation (PR) closed lists to the Election Commission (EC) to get recognition of the national party status.

However, after the election, only five parties, Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist Center), Rastriya Janata Party (RPP) and Federal Socialist Forum (FSF), received recognition as national parties.

A party has to win at least one first-past-the-post (FPTP) seat and three percent of the total valid PR votes cast nationwide to earn the national party status as per the Political Parties Act, 2017. However, even after winning one FPTP seat, RPP, Baburam Bhattarai's Naya Sakti Party and Rastriya Janamorcha failed to earn the national party status.

RPP got 196,792 votes, NSP obtained 81,426 votes and RJM received only 62,123 votes. Similarly, Bibeksheel Sajha Party (BSP) got 212,333 valid PR votes but failed to win even a single FPTP seat.

This time, a total of 68 parties have submitted PR closed lists for the general election scheduled for November 20.

How many parties will cross the three percent vote threshold and get the recognition of the national party?
According to the Election Commission, there are a total of 17,988,570 voters. According to the Commission, this time, it is expected that 63 to 70 percent of votes will be cast this time.

Sixty percent of votes means 11,332,799 votes. The votes can be calculated based on the Commission's minimum projection of 63 percent as valid votes, including the void votes. Accordingly, to cross the 3 percent threshold, the parties must get 339,983 votes.

Aside from NC, UML and CPN (Maoist Center), which are sure to get recognition of national party status, many people are curious to know how many parties will cross the threshold to earn national party status.

Many people have predicted that CPN (Unified Socialist) and Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) will also become national parties.  Similarly, the chances of RPP and Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP)-led by Ravi Lamichhane to cross the threshold have increased.

Four big parties
Looking at the votes received in the previous May 13 elections, political analysts say that NC, UML, and Maoist Center will get the first, second, and third largest number of votes, respectively. Likewise, the Unified Socialist-led by Madhav Kumar Nepal, which split from the UML, is expected to be recognized as a national party.

It is estimated that the party will win more than 12 of the 19 constituencies under the FPTP category. Similarly, this party can easily cross the threshold as it has fielded candidates for 107 out of 110 PR seats.

In the local level elections held earlier, NC became the largest party with 3,956,193 votes for ward chairpersons (2,668 ward chairpersons).

UML, which was in second place, got 3,811,602 votes for ward chairpersons (2,137 ward chairpersons).

Similarly, Maoist Center obtained 1,503,247 votes for ward chairmen (1,053 ward chairpersons). JSP-led by Upendra Yadav got 577,380 votes for ward chairpersons and become fourth (295 ward chairpersons).

Based on local election votes, the Unified Socialist is the fifth party. It got 422,737 votes for ward chairpersons (190 ward chairpersons).

Loktantrik Samajbadi Party (LSP), which won 103 ward chairpersons in local elections, obtained 244,882 votes. A party has to receive more than these votes to become a national party in the coming election. LSP is now in the ruling coalition. However, analyst Chandrakishore claims that both JSP and LSP will cross the threshold.

RPP and RSP
Ravi Lamichhane's Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), which is emerging as a new party, and RPP have shown signs of becoming a national party. Since they are likely to notch up considerable number of PR votes, there is pressure on these two parties to win at least one FPTP seat.

RPP has fielded candidates for 137 seats under FPTP category. Rajendra Lingden, Dhawal Shamsher Rana, Bikram Pandey, Deepak Bohara, Gyanendra Shahi and Rekha Thapa have been listed as winners by RPP.

RPP, which won 62 ward chairpersons across the country by getting 364,160 votes, is likely to cross the threshold.

On the other hand, RSP has fielded candidates in 143 constituencies under the FPTP category and 107 under the PR category.



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