Nepal's Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's Nepali Congress (NC)-led coalition is on its way to winning Nepal's parliamentary elections.
Nepal held elections to Parliament's House of Representatives (HoR) and seven provincial assemblies on Sunday. The counting began on Sunday night and is ongoing. It might take up to a week for the counting to be completed.
Deuba won in his Dadeldhura constituency in far west Nepal by a margin of over 23,000 votes. His party Nepali Congress is currently leading the tally with victories on 13 seats.
This is in line with pre-election predictions that Deuba's NC-led coalition would return to power but no single party would secure clear majority.
Nepal election 2022 results
The Nepal election results so far indicate that Deuba's Nepali Congress-led coalition would return to power.
Deuba himself has secured a comfortable victory for the seventh consecutive time. He seured 25,534 votes against his nearest rival Sagar Dhakal's 1,302 votes. Notably, Deuba has never lost any parliamentary election in the five decades of his political career.
The 77-year-old Nepali Congress president Deuba is currently holding the post of Prime Minister for the fifth term.
The NC-led coalition has so far 13 seats and is leading on 77 seats. Of the 77 seats the coalition is leading in, the NC is leading in 54.
The Opposition CPN-UML-led coalition, helmed by former Prime Minister KP Oli has so far bagged three seats and is leading in 55 seats.
The newly formed Rastriya Swotantra Party has won three seats in the Kathmandu district.
Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Nagarik Unmukti Party have bagged one seat each.
Nepal's proportional representation system
Nepal elects members of parliament through both first-past-the-post (FPTP) system and proportional representation (PR) system.
Of the 275 Members of Parliament, 165 are elected through direct voting and the remaining 110 are elected through PR system. Similarly, out of a total of 550 members of the provincial assemblies, 330 are elected directly and 220 are elected through PR method.
The CPN-UML has received the highest number of votes under the PR system with the party bagging 2,07,299 votes, followed by the Nepali Congress with 1,83,352 votes. Rastriya Swotantra Party is in the third position with 95,598 votes while CPN-Maoist has received 86,433 votes. Similarly, the CPN Unified Socialist got 10,919 votes.
Nepal elections 2022 fast facts
Nepal on Sunday recorded around 61 per cent voter turnout in elections to parliament and seven provincial assemblies.
The turnout was lesser than the previous elections. The voter turnout was 77 per cent in 2013 and 78 per cent in 2017.
More than 17.9 million voters were eligible to cast their votes. Over 22,000 polling centres were set up for the November 20 elections in which 5,907 candidates were in the fray.
The voting was marred by violence and disruption. One death was reported and voting at a number of places was postponed.
Voting was postponed in 15 polling stations in four districts as a result of violent incidents. The Election Commission directed the concerned election offices in those districts to make necessary arrangements to hold the elections within two days.
One person was killed after being shot dead at a polling station in Nateshwari Basic School of Tribeni Municipality in Bajura. The 24-year-old man was shot dead by the police following a dispute between two groups after the voting was over, officials said.
A minor explosion took place near Sharda Secondary School polling station in Dhangadhi Sub-metropolitan City in Kailali district. However, there was no casualty, said officials, adding that voting continued in the polling station despite the incident with just half-an-hour interruption.
Some incidents of heated arguments between party cadres were reported from 11 areas in Dhangadi, Gorkha and Dolakha districts. However, it did not affect the polling, they said.
Nepal's unlikely coalitons
Nepal elections 2022 have brought unlikely parties and leaders together allies.
Former rivls Deuba and CPN-Maoist Centre chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" are together and, on the other side, Oli has allied with pro-monarchist parties.
There are two major political alliances in the Nepal 2022 elections — the Nepali Congress (NC)-led democratic and leftist alliance and the CPN-UML-led leftist and pro-Hindu-pro-monarchy alliance.
The NC-led ruling alliance includes CPN-Maoist Centre, CPN-Unified Socialist, and Madhes-based Loktantrik Samajwadi Party, and the CPN-UML-led alliance includes pro-Hindu Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Madhes-based Janata Samajwadi Party.
Madhes is the term used to refer to the plains of Nepal, which has long complaint of being dominated by hill-based political elites.
Deuba's Nepali Congress and the Prachanda's CPN-Maoist Centre were bitter rivals during the Nepali Civil War as Prachanda was the leader of Maoist rebels. The Indian Express reported that a large number of 17,000 people killed during the Civil War were NC cadres and current NC PM Deuba also survived a Maoist ambush earlier. But now he is allied with his formal enemies. On the other hand, the Left is allied with monarchist parties which goes against conventional wisdom.
(With PTI inputs)