But still the pro-monarchy party’s strength will be small
Pro-monarchy Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Nepal) is all set to become the fourth largest party in the new Constituent Assembly (CA), though its size would still be very small compared to the top three parties.
Unable to win a single seat under the direct vote for its candidates and managing to get a little over 2,00,000 votes, the party got three times more votes under the proportional representation (PR) electoral system.
Although the big parties got fewer votes in the 2008 CA election as well, the difference is stark this time. Now, the NC got 26,94,797 under the first-past-the-post ( FPTP) system and 24,12,887 under the PR system. In the last CA election, the difference was 79,000. For the CPN (UML), the votes are 24,92,083 and 22,30,406 respectively. Last time, the difference was 45,000.
In the case of UCPN (Maoist), the votes tally is 16,08,690 and 14,27,646. In 2008, the party got only 1315 fewer votes under the PR system.
In the absence of any exit poll, it is difficult to conclude at whose expense the RPP (Nepal) gained its votes. But some political analysts — even before the voting started — predicted that the pro-monarchy and pro-Hindu rashtra party would get votes at the expense of the Nepali Congress and the CPN(UML).
Narayan Wagle, principal writer/analyst of Setopati.com, a popular news website, told The Hindu that during his pre-election visits to district in Tarai and mountains, he found people saying, “Ek vote dai lai, ek vote gai lai” [One vote for brother (local candidate), one vote for cow (election symbol of RPP (Nepal)].
Mr. Wagle said although the RPP (Nepal) emerged the fourth largest party, it wouldn’t have any kingmaker role or decisive say, given that that the NC and the CPN(UML) have bagged nearly two-thirds strength.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has completed the counting of ballots under the PR system. The final tally of seats would be announced later.