The results of second Constituent Assembly elections have thrown unexpected surprises for many, including Krishna Khanal, the noted political analyst and professor of Political Science at Tribhuvan University. As the post-mortem on CA II polls has started, Republica’s Biswas Baral and Thira L Bhusal talked to Khanal on the likely reasons for Maoist reverses, the upcoming political course and constitution making.
How do you analyze the overall election results?
The result of the recent election does not match the predictions of armchair experts. It defied my expectations as well. But it was alway s clear that whatever individual parties were claiming before the elections, only one of them could come on top. What I personally felt on election eve was that the results this time wouldn’t be much different from 2008, give and take a few seats. We all expected UCPN (Maoist) to slide, but not on this scale. Before the elections it wasn’t clear how the boycott of Baidya’s Maoist party would impact final results. The results show that in many places votes have gone against UCPN (Maoist) and in favor of the parties the Baidya party wanted to win. Thus it is extremely hard to ascertain the degree to which the current results reflect ground realities.
After emerging close second to Nepali Congress in recent CA polls, CPN-UML is busy setting its future course on government formation and dialogue with UCPN (Maoist) and other disgruntled parties that have disowned election results.
How are power-sharing agreements with NC panning out? What are its plans to bring the two Maoists on board the constitutional process? What do the election results mean? Party Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal discussed these issues with Thira L Bhushal and Biswas Baral at his residence in Chhawani Wednesday afternoon.
Nepali Congress Central Committee member Narahari Acharya won a keenly fought CA seat in Kathmandu-5, edging out CPN-UML’s Ishwar Pokhrel in a tight contest. Viewed as a moderate and conciliatory figure, Acharya is also regarded as the voice for progressive change within Congress.
Mahabir Paudyal and Kosh Raj Koirala caught up with the veteran NC leader to discuss election results, government formation and constitutional issues.