The ruling CPN-UML has been defeated in a by-election for a National Assembly member to represent Lumbini province.
The opposition alliance’s candidate, Drig Narayan Pandey of the Nepali Congress, won the election on Monday, defeating his single opponent, Chandra Bahadur Khadka. Pandey received 42 votes from members of the Provincial Assembly and 118 votes from local government officials. Khadka received 40 and 94 votes, respectively.
Pandey represented the UML in the Lumbini Provincial Assembly till early May. He had defected to the Nepali Congress, however, in protest of the disputed reappointment of UML’s Shankar Pokhrel as chief minister. A compromise was struck to run him in the National Assembly elections at the same time.
The upper house seat had become empty after the CPN-UML Maoist Centre expelled Khadka for supporting the ruling alliance.
As in the Bagmati province, opposition groups such as the Nepali Congress, Maoist Centre, the UML’s unhappy Madhav Kumar Nepal-faction, and the Janata Samajbadi Party had joined forces to oppose the ruling party.
Due to a schism in the then-Nepal Communist Party, two seats in the National Assembly had become vacant. Both were lost by the ruling party when former home minister Ram Bahadur Thapa was unable to secure his post in Bagmati earlier this month.