Nepal | July 05, 2020

FNCCI’s presidential race begins

Three candidates file nominations; past presidents urge consensus

Pushpa Raj Acharya
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KATHMANDU, June 27: Three candidates filed their candidacy for the post of the president at Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) — the largest private sector umbrella body — today.

Pashupati Murarka, filing nominations for FNCCI presidential election, in Kathmandu, on June 27, 2015. Photo: THT

Pashupati Murarka, filing nominations for FNCCI presidential election, in Kathmandu, on June 27, 2015. Photo: THT

Officiating President Pashupati Murarka, Executive Member and Chair of the Agro Enterprise Centre Bhawani Rana and former senior vice president Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar have filed the nominations.

The FNCCI election, scheduled for July 3, will elect the president from among the three nominees.

The post of FNCCI president has remained vacant since its president Pradeep Jung Pandey was sentenced to jail in a three-decade old corruption charge on March 18, this year. The new chief of FNCCI will serve for the remaining term of the current executive committee that expires in April, 2017.

The three candidates vying to lead FNCCI have their own comparative strengths and weaknesses.

Bhawani Rana filing nominations for FNCCI presidential election, in Kathmandu, on June 27, 2015. Photo: THT

Bhawani Rana filing nominations for FNCCI presidential election, in Kathmandu, on June 27, 2015. Photo: THT

Bhawani Rana, who earlier served as vice president of district and municipal chambers, has a strong base in the district and municipal chambers and is backed by two vice presidents — Dinesh Shrestha (Commodities) and Kishore Pradhan (District and Municipal Chambers). Rana’s nomination has been seconded by Gularia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar filing nominations for FNCCI presidential election, in Kathmandu, on June 27, 2015. Photo: THT

Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar filing nominations for FNCCI presidential election, in Kathmandu, on June 27, 2015. Photo: THT

Both Rajkarnikar and Murarka have experience of serving as senior vice presidents. Murarka’s nomination was seconded by Lahan CCI. Vice President Shekhar Golchha has backed Murarka’s candidacy. Rajkarnikar’s nomination was seconded by the Advertising Association of Nepal (AAN). As per FNCCI sources, Rajkarnikar has a strong backing of Commodities and a few Associates.

Due to Golchha’s support, who won the election last year from the Associates, sources said Murarka has more chances of tapping Associate voters, which has 30 per cent weightage in the election.

At the FNCCI, there are more than 600 votes from the Associates, 93 from District and Municipal Chambers, 93 from Commodities Associations and 12 from Bi-national Chambers. Associate members have 30 per cent weightage in the election while District and Municipal members have 50 per cent weightage, followed by the Commodities Association with 20 per cent weightage.

Along with the nomination, all the three candidates have started their election campaigns. After filing her nomination, Rana said that it was time that FNCCI elected a female to its leadership, adding that she deserves to lead the FNCCI not only because she is a female but due to her contributions to the chamber movement over the years. In the five-decade-long history of FNCCI no female candidate has ever filed candidacy for president.

Similarly, Murarka said that he was open to the idea of a consensus until the last minute but he is not in favour of names being imposed.

On the other hand, Rajkarnikar has stated the upcoming election has become a possibility due to his efforts, so he deserves to be at the helm of the organisation for the remaining period. Rajkarnikar was defeated by former president Pradeep Jung Pandey in the last election.

Murarka and Rajkarnikar were in the same panel in the last election, while Rana was from Pandey’s panel. Murarka had defeated Rana for the post of senior vice president last time around.

Today’s development has come at a time when the past presidents of FNCCI had been urging all the members to select a president unanimously citing critical time in the history of the institution.

Though nominations have been filed and campaigning has started, some past presidents have said that efforts to forge a consensus are ongoing and they will try to select a president unanimously. In fact, seven past presidents of FNCCI had organised a joint press meet last Monday calling for a consensus.

Ravi Bhakta Shrestha, past president and chair of the FNCCI Disciplinary Committee, informed that they have spoken to the three candidates to forge consensus.

A version of this article appears in print on June 28, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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