Kathmandu, November 7
Sixty-five candidates today filed their nominations at the Election Commission’s offices for the upcoming by-elections for one House of Representatives seat and three provincial assembly seats to be held on November 30.
According to the EC, 22 candidates filed their nominations for Kaski HoR Constituency No 2, 19 for Bhaktapur Provincial Assembly Constituency No 1(A), 10 for Baglung Provincial Assembly Constituency No 2(B) and 14 for Dang Provincial Assembly Constituency No 3(B).
All the candidates filed their nominations at offices of the chief election officer in their respective districts.
For the high-stakes Kaski seat, the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has fielded Bidhya Bhattarai, wife of former tourism minister Rabindra Adhikari who died in a chopper crash in February. The constituency had fallen vacant after Adhikari’s death. Khem Raj Paudel is contesting the seat for the main opposition Nepali Congress. Other candidates include Rajani KC of Sajha Party, Dharma Raj Gurung of Samajwadi Party-Nepal, Ram Bahadur Bhandari of Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Ganga Malla of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (United). Eleven independent candidates have filed their nominations for the seat, according to the EC.
The constituency is expected to see stiff contest between Bhattarai and Paudel.
The NCP wants to retain the seat, as that will reflect not only on the party but also the government’s popularity. On the other hand, the NC expects to cash in on the ‘waning popularity’ of the ruling party and the government.
For the Bhaktapur seat, the NCP has fielded Devi Prasad Dhakal, while Krishna Lal Bhandel is in fray from the NC. Suraj Pradhan of Sajha Party, Sudarshan Munakarma of SP-N, Niraj Lavaju of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party and Shyam Prasad Nepal of Rastriya Prajatantra Party have filed their nominations for the PA seat. Ten independent candidates are also in fray.
The ruling NCP has not fielded any candidate for the Baglung seat and has decided to support the Rastriya Janamorcha’s Khim Bikram Shahi. His main rival will be Nepali Congress’s Jeet Bahadur Sherchan. Ashok Kumar BK of Samajwadi Party, Ganesh Bahadur Kunwar of RPP and Nim Bahadur Bhandari of RPP (United) are also in fray for the Gandaki PA seat. Two independents have also thrown their hat into the ring.
For the Dang seat, Hari Prasad Dangi of the NCP is pitted against NC’s Keshav Raj Sharma. Dilli Bahadur Dangi of Samajwadi Party, Shiv Kumar Chaudhari of Sajha Party, Bhupal Rawal of RPP and Chhoti Lal Tharu of RPP (United), besides two independents, are also in fray.
As per the EC’s election schedule, complaints, if any, may be lodged against the nominations tomorrow. The EC will then publish the final list of candidates for the by-elections on Sunday.
Nominations for local level by-elections can be filed till November 13. The EC will publish the final list of candidates on November 16.
A version of this article appears in print on November 08, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.