Nepali Congress, CPN Maoist and the Unexpected Results From PR and FPTP

….because you never know the result of elections in advance!

If there is anything that is making CPN Maoist feel regrettable in the post-poll scenario that must be their pre-poll emphasis on the Proportional Representation (PR) system for the Constituent Assembly elections. On the other side of the political spectrum Nepali Congress must be feeling heavily indebted to the former rebels for Maoist’s insistence on the PR. Both of these parties were at the opposing end regarding PR: NC never fully favored it, Maoists wanted fully PR system. (Finally it was agreed in December that about 60 percent of the total CA seats would be elected through PR and about 40 percent through First Past the Post, FPTP or winner takes it all system. That meant out of total 601 seats, 240 for FPTP, 335 for PR and remaining 26 to be appointed by the PM.)

Now that decision appears to have come as a savior to NC who suffered humiliating defeat in the FPTP. The party must be thanking God for agreeing to that albeit under tremendous pressure. The party that was so confident about winning in FTPT has lost miserably while the party that thought it would do badly in the FTPT they are couple of seats away from getting majority and there is still couple of dozen seats to be counted! The party that thought high percentage of the PR seats in the CA would do harm to its winning possibility is now hoping to increase its seats significantly through that. And for Maoists: only if there were no freaking PR, we would have enjoyed a cool majority in the CA! – D Wagle

How seats will be split under PR?
Here is the formula:

The Election Commission (EC) will use the Modified Sainte Lague Method (MSLM) to allocate 335 seats under the proportional representation (PR) electoral system.

MSLM is a mathematically complicated method and difficult to explain. However, allocation of seats under this system does not vary significantly from a simple calculation of number of seats based on the votes garnered by the political parties. For instance, based on simple calculations, if a party wins 30 percent of the votes it will get 100.5 seats out of the 335 seats up for grabs under the PR system.

In such a case, 0.5 of one seat is likely to go to waste. MSLM tries to minimize such wastage -part of the reason why this method is use to allocate seats. MSLM also relatively favors small parties.

Based on total vote counts under the PR system as of Tuesday afternoon, the MSLM method will give the Maoists 125 seats, the UML 93 seats, NC 90, MPRF 16 and RPP 11 seats respectively.






9 responses to “Nepali Congress, CPN Maoist and the Unexpected Results From PR and FPTP”

  1. Masayo Avatar

    Oh~ Dinesh-
    Defying nearly everyone’s expectations!?

    I thought the result so far have confounded analysts,but most of whom had predicted beforehand,right?

  2. really Avatar

    what an irony. however, the proportional system is a must. winning 30% of popular votes should not give anyone the right to rule. it means 70% voted against them.

    i preferred the first option which was discarded, both the highest and second highest candidates should go through and the resr proportional. this ensures that rigging votes would not cause much difference to the outcome. So 480 seats first and second past the post, 121 proportional.

  3. really Avatar

    we must have a consensus govt. to make the new constitution. frankly, if we just adapt the prachanda path – how long down would that take us before we will be having another ca election – i am sure prachanda knows this.

  4. Neil Horning Avatar

    Part of the irony here is that if the Maoists hadn’t pressed so hard for proportional representation, they probably wouldn’t have done so well in FPTP. They probably regained the votes of a lot of minorities they wouldn’t have had otherwise. The Maoists tactic wasn’t static, it was dynamic. This explains somewhat why they were flexible on FPR but not on republic before the election. They needed to claim the republican issue back as their own before the election was held.

  5. Neil Horning Avatar

    I should add that I thought their flexibility should have gone the other way. I was obviously wrong.

  6. what if Avatar
    what if


    Being a reporter you should know better than me. On what basis you said that Maosit did well in FPTP. Report of observer yet to be released. No doubt that election was highly peaceful but not free and fair. Voters were intimidated not only intimidate heavely intimidated.

  7. Neil Horning Avatar

    What if I’m not in a special position to know, but I highly doubt an electoral result of this sweeping nature could be produced by voter intimidation. I also have the anecdotal evidence of an 18 year old Nepali girl from one of my classes who I exchanged e-mails with before the elections. I’ll reproduce the exchange here since it doesn’t contain any personal information.
    Hey, are you voting?

    no i am not voting but my parent will
    and i am sure this time maoist will win
    -Nepali girl

    Why do you think they will win this time?

    beacuse everone try to give chance for new and as i talk to people around everyone want to vote for mao and in demonstration to large number of people are there n moa then in other party
    -Nepali girl

    Well, fair enough. I wonder if that is only true in Pokhara though.

    neil i vote to maoist
    this is my first time
    and lucky coz this election is something interesting and exciting
    -Nepali girl

    This girl had shown no particular affinity for the Maoists to me before. In fact she had complained about them constantly. Because of this, my friend in the U.N. and the international organizations that were satisfied, I have little reason to believe the bulk of the Maoists success came from intimidation.

  8. c Avatar

    well around 30% of entire pop voted maoist, prob 15% fair and square, rest give them a shot for now and intimidation as well. people in remote hills want them out of their area and in kathmandu, so they will stop bothering for free food, drink etc. etc. no difference to them if maoist win but ifthey lose more problems and burdens.


    Prachanda is talking sensibly and acted sensibly so that his entire party galvanized into one energy mass mobilized the people and won spectacular victory. I hope his commitment to multiparty democracy and people’s welfare get the better over any narrow institutional (party) interests and he will not commit the mistakes and blunders of a Stalin, a Mao or a Pol Pot. I also wish he drops the suffix Maoist for his party since Mao is almost debunked in his own country now. I also respect Mao for his positive contributions but his negative side and especially the cultural revolution excesses created a lot of antagonism against him among his own people. So no point in communists of other countries carrying that suffix. On the contrary, I look forward to unity between different communist parties of Nepal (which they once achieved in the 1990s) and Prachanda should take the main initiative in this regard.

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