The ruling coalition partners have almost finalized sharing of seats in nine of the 10 constituencies of Kathmandu.
As per the agreement between the coalition partners, CPN (Maoist Center) is all but certain to get Kathmandu Constituency No. 2.
There are speculations in Maoist circles that either former speaker Onsari Gharti or Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority Kulman Ghising will be the candidate if their party is given the constituency.
Maoist Center has already recommended Gharti’s name as candidate from the constituency. Gharti, too, has already expressed her desire to contest the election under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system from Kathmandu-2.
Gharti was elected lawmaker under the proportional representation (PR) electoral system in 2008 and 2017. She won the 2013 election from Rolpa-2.
Rolpa has only one election constituency now. Gharti’s husband and CPN (Maoist Center) Deputy General Secretary Barshaman Pun is guaranteed to be the party’s candidate from there.
Gharti is eyeing Kathmandu-2 because she wants to contest the election under FPTP this time and she does not have her own constituency. Gharti, who has already become speaker, deputy speaker and minister, had worked in many districts of Bagmati province during the Maoist conflict period.
Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has also told Gharti to be prepared to contest the election.
However, Gharti has not been finalized as the party’s candidate from Kathmandu-2 yet as Ghising is also a potential candidate from the constituency.
Some weeks ago, Maoist Chairman Dahal had said that they were looking for a person who could bring more intense sentiments than Kathmandu Mayor Balen Shah as their party had a weak voter base in Kathmandu.
Given the party’s weakening position in Kathmandu, Maoist Center is of the opinion that people’s trust in Ghising will help increase the party’s votes. The Maoists believe Ghising will win from any constituency of Kathmandu.
Maoist Center has not been able to win in any constituency of Kathmandu since 2008, when it won in four of the 10 constituencies of Kathmandu.
However, a source close to Ghising said that many parties have been requesting Ghising to join politics and contest election from their party since a long time ago but he has not given it any thought.
“He has said that Nepal has entered an important phase in hydroelectricity development and he is focusing on that,” said the source.