The National Independent Party, or Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), led by TV host-turned politician Rabi Lamichhane, is emerging as a new political force in Nepal following the federal and provincial elections held earlier this week.
According to preliminary results, the party is likely to win considerable seats under the proportional representation which is dubbed as huge disenchantment against the established political forces.
It has already won three seats in Kathmandu Valley and is leading in at least five federal constituencies, Chitwan represented by Lamichhane. Although the elections on Sunday were held in 165 federal constituencies, no political party has contested in all electoral constituencies.
But the RSP that is against the idea of federalism, has not contested the elections in provincial parliament. Ruling party Nepali Congress is leading the overall tally in both federal and provincial constituencies. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has won the election from his home constituency, Dadheldura, for a record seventh time in a row. He was challenged Sagar Dhakal, an independent candidate.
The CPN-UML is trailing behind Nepali Congress in the overall tally, whereas the RSP is in third position. The CPN (Maoist Center) has not won a single seat as of Wednesday, but is leading in 16 constituencies. The RSP is trailing behind Nepali Congress and UML in vote under the proportional representation too.
Lamichhane, who used to run a popular television program in Nepal, has raised his voice against corruption, mismanagement, bad governance, plights of the migrant workers working in the Gulf and Malaysia and holes created by the mainstream political parties.
“We have not decided to join the government but we are encouraged and thrilled by the votes we received, said Lamichanne. Nation needs a strong opposition,” said Lamichanne in an interview.
If the current trend continues, the RSP will win at least 20 in federal parliament.
(The article has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)