Nepal’s pro-monarchy, pro-Hindu party splits

A pro-monarchy and pro-Hindu party that garnered the fourth-largest number of seats in Nepal’s newly elected constituent assembly split on Monday due to disgruntlement over the handing out of the party’s seats won through proportional representation.

Over 40 percent of central committee members of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal announced a splinter group and applied to the Election Commission for registration of a new party named the Nepali Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Election Commission spokesman Bir Bahadur Rai told Kyodo News.

The RPP-N, which seeks the reinstatement of a constitutional monarchy and demands the annulment of a 2006 decision to turn Nepal from a Hindu state into a secular one, bagged 24 proportionally elected seats in last month’s election. Nepal abolished the 240-year-old monarchical institution in 2008.

In its application filed with the Election Commission, the splinter group claimed its share of the 24 seats. The political agenda of the splinter party is unclear.

Nepal adopted a complex electoral system for last month’s election under which people cast two votes — one for the candidate of their choice and the other for the party of their choice.

The first vote directly elected 240 legislators, while the second vote was for 335 seats that were distributed among political parties based on the percentage of votes they got.

Another 26 members in the 601-member assembly will be nominated by the new government.

It has been nearly four weeks since the proportional seats were awarded. Major political parties are still struggling to finalize a list of names to fill their respective seats. Monday is the final day of an extended deadline to file the nominations.

The assembly is tasked with finalizing a new constitution left incomplete by the previous assembly elected in 2008. The previous assembly was dissolved last year amid a protracted standoff over the basis — ethnic, geographic or economic viability — to be used for federating the young republic.

Source: Global Post