COMMUNIST parties are set to win a landmark vote in Nepal’s first parliamentary elections for 18 years, according to latest results.
The elections were held under the new constitution passed in 2015 which declared Nepal a federal state with three levels of government — federal, provincial and local.
More than 15 million people were eligible to vote in the phased elections designed to decentralise power from Kathmandu to the newly created seven provinces and local government units.
The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) led by KP Oli joined forces with Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s Communist Party of Nepal — Maoist Centre in an electoral alliance for the provincial and parliamentary elections.
Results released by the Election Commission on Tuesday showed the left alliance had won 113 seats in the national parliament while the ruling Nepali Congress managed to win just 21 seats.
The remainder of the country’s 275 parliamentary seats are elected by proportional representation with the Nepali Congress expected to perform better. The left alliance, however, is set to form the next administration.
Communists were also ahead in six out of the seven provincial assemblies with full results yet to be declared.
The results are seen as bringing stability to Nepal which has experienced a change in government 10 times in as many years as it transforms from a Hindu monarchy to a secular democratic republic.
The left alliance is perceived as closer to China than to Narendra Modi’s right-wing government in India.
Mr Oli is expected to be named as prime minister. He served briefly as Nepal’s premier from October 2015 to August 2016, stepping down when the Maoists dropped out of a coalition government.
Full results from Nepal’s mixed electoral system are expected in early January.