FSFN-RJP alliance on crossroads; both eager to take left turn

Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJP) and Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) that allied for the federal parliamentary and provincial elections in Province 2 are still undecided about forming government in the province.

The two parties, that have a majority together, have yet to hold formal discussion about the chief minister and sharing of ministries in the province almost two months after the election. The two parties are separately talking with the left alliance instead.

The left alliance, that has majority in all other provinces, has already decided sharing of CMs between CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center). But it is not yet clear who the CM in Province 2 will be even as the first meeting of the provincial assembly has been called in all the provinces for the next week.

Leaders of the Madhes-based parties claim that they have not held discussions as the top leaders of RJP and FSFN are not currently in the capital. But that is not the only reason why the two parties have yet to talk.

A RJP leader told Setopati that one cannot say whether the two parties will form the government in Province 2 as FSFN Chairman is currently talking with the left alliance. “It seems FSFN Chairman Yadav has kept open the option of allying with the left alliance at the center and also allying accordingly in the province,” the leader stated.

“RJP will also plan for cooperation with the left alliance if that is the case. RJP may be the choice of left alliance in that eventuality,” the leader stated claiming that the left alliance feels that the relationship with India can be improved if RJP were included in the federal government.

But FSFN Chairman Yadav claimed that his party still prioritizes alliance with RJP in the province. “Our first priority still is RJP. We can take the left alliance together even in Province 2 if it agrees to cooperate with us at the center,” Yadav said. “The left alliance must issue its clear position on constitution amendment for cooperation with it. It will be difficult for us to cooperate with them if that does not happen.”

He revealed that the party has called a meeting for Saturday to discuss about formation of the government in Province 2 and other issues.

Member of the chairman council of RJP Rajendra Mahato said the party is holding informal discussions with FSFN leaders, and claimed the two Madhes-based parties will form the government in Province 2. “I talked with Yadav only yesterday. We have not held formal discussion as he is currently in Biratnagar,” he argued. “The two parties will form the government in Province 2. No discussion has been held yet on taking other parties on board. No other party has showed interest or proposed for that either,” he claimed.

He revealed that there has been no discussion about formation of the federal government. “There is no clue about the formation of the federal government. There are talks about the alliance of UML and Maoist Center forming it,” he stated. “But first those two parties should agree. Then only we will come in the picture.”

There are a total of 107 provincial assembly members in Province 2 including those elected through both first-past-the-post (FPTP) and proportional representation (PR) systems. No party has the necessary majority of 54 seats to form the government on its own.

FSFN, the single largest party in the provincial assembly, has 29 seats and the second largest party RJP 25. The two parties can form the government. UML has won 21 seats in the province and Maoist Center 11 while NC is fourth with 19.

Both FSFN and RJP can mathematically form government in the province allying with the left alliance.



© 2017 Setopati Sanchar Pvt. Ltd.