June 6, 2023, Tuesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Challenge before political parties

The Nepal Weekly
October 18, 2022

By TNW correspondent

Leading figures of Nepali politics are today feeling strongly about the need to keep in sustainable touch with the people. The election of 2022 which is taking place in standard periodic time following 2017-polls has reminded them of the adverse effects of disconnect with people.

Senior campaigners of all political parties are experiencing this day in and day out. “People at the grass-root level are complaining against the politicians who forget them after they reach the high power-point.” As for new parties, campaigners are struggling to justify their presence and convince about their faces and programmes. It is an uphill task for them to explain how they will be different from the traditional parties.

Had political parties allowed the internal democracy function well in them, things would have been different; party cadres would have maintained connection with grass-root people in a steady and sustainable manner, said senior politicos responding to problems facing campaigners these days.

“Getting in touch with the people should constitute a fundamental function of each political party; such touch should not be activated in poll-times only for gaining the confidence of the people.”

The five year federal practice in democracy has taught Nepali voters a number of lessons including what to expect from candidates and the way to scrutinize them. “As a result of the same the political campaigning is being very competitive at the moment; established voter-attractors and popular leaders are feeling its heat,” said a media analyst, “there is nothing like sure win this time for any leader or party.”

All are attempting prediction about the outcome based on the trend visible in May local elections. Although a reliable guide, the same cannot be a tool to predict for the parliamentary and provincial assembly polls,” noted the media analyst.

The provision for obtaining three percent of proportional representation vote and one first past the post election seat in parliament offer another challenge for some parties wishing to retain or emerge as a national status party. “The 2017-polls filtered a number of parties and leaders because of the mandatory threshold. This election would also compel many politicos and parties to be sidelined,” observed a former parliamentarian.