Kathmandu, Nepal, November 22, 2022: Vote counting of the November 20 federal and provincial assembly members’ elections is underway across the country. The preliminary votes counting have, however, left a clear signal that no party can secure majority of seats in the federal parliament to form government on its own and the newly formed Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) would emerge as one of the major political force in the country.
As of Monday evening, elections results have been indicating that the RSP would secure third position after the Nepali Congress and the CPN UML. The Nepali Congress was leading in more than three dozen constituencies, CPN-UML in one and half dozen and RSP in eight. The RSP has emerged as the dark horse in the elections race even securing third position in the Proportional Representative (PR) electoral system as well.
Though the trend of independent candidates fighting elections is not new in Nepal, the newly-formed RSP and other hundreds of other independent candidates contesting in this election have given a different flavor in country’s politics. Almost all the independent candidates out of about 900 contested in the Sunday’s federal and provincial assembly elections have posed tough challenges even to the heavyweights of the old and established parties.
The newly formed RSP and independent candidates breaks the three-horse race between Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, and CPN (Maoist Center) to dominate the national politics. With the votes secured by the RSP and independent candidates, the major political parties cannot rely on their traditional voter base to win the elections.
The Lamichhane led RSP is backed by a team of professionals who were not affiliated to traditional parties. Though the RSP is registered as a party, it has given flavor of independent not only through the name but candidates as well.
Political analysts have a saying that the election results reflect frustration with old and established parties and leaders. They have also a saying that the emergence of new parties and scores of independent candidates gives a message that the traditional parties failed in this election to appeal to the youths.
Though the Nepali Congress and UML would secure first and second position, there is no single candidate, who has not faced challenge either from the RSP or independent candidates. The electoral alliance forged under the leadership of the Nepali Congress and UML would not work to defeat at least 10 RSP and independent candidates.