Jhapa, May 23 With just a few weeks left for the second phase of local elections, political parties in Jhapa are struggling to pick candidates to contest in the elections. Of the 31 parties registered with the Election Office in the district, Rastriya Prajatantra Pary and CPN-MC have finalised 90 per cent and 40 per cent of their election candidates respectively. The CPN-UML and Nepali Congress along with other fringe parties are yet to pick candidates from a host of aspirants lobbying for election tickets. Sources with the parties, however, have attributed the delay to the party leadership’s fear that declaring candidates early on might lead to factionalism in the party. The government’s recent decision to increase local levels in the district has further added to the woes of parties. As for Nepali Congress, it has failed to declare even a single candidate till date. “Congress is a large party, so it’s natural to take time to select from a host of aspirants,” said NC district president Uddhav Thapa, adding, “The delay is just as well because of our preparations to make public of our selected candidates at one go.” UML district chairperson Chintan Pathak, on his part, conveyed the party’s internal preparations for finalising the names of candidates in a few days. Meanwhile, RPP, which has finalised most of its candidates by now is grappling with internal dispute over the selected names. While the party town Chairperson Chandra Bahadur Thapa of Damak Municipality has announced he has left the party, a large number of leaders and cadres are also said to be unhappy with the selection of candidates in Damak, in particular. Thapa issued a statement today announcing his separation from the party and resignation even from the party’s general membership.