Bipul Pokharel has been elected president of the Federation of Nepali Journalists, an umbrella organisation of all journalists in the country.

Pokharel, who had filed his candidacy for the post of president of the central executive committee of FNJ representing 'democratic-professionalism', a joint alliance of the Press Union and Press Organisation, secured victory with 3,942 votes.

His nearest contender Nirmala Sharma secured 3,915 votes.

Sharma had represented the 'progressive-inclusive' alliance, which included Press Chautari Nepal and Press Forum Nepal, among others.

Not only Pokharel, but almost all the candidates under his panel vying for executive posts won the election. Among them, Ramesh Bista was elected senior vice-president with 3,741 votes, Bala Adhikari secured the post of women vice-president with 7,226 votes, Uday GM won the post of inclusive vice-president securing 6,117 votes, Roshan Puri was elected general secretary with 6,242 votes. Similarly, Srijana Aryal was elected secretary under various categories with 6,580 votes, Govinda Prasad Chaulagain was elected open-secretary with 6,071 votes, Narayan Sundar Kilambu was elected secretary under indigenous category with 6,300 votes, Dipendra Chauhan secured the post of secretary under Madhesi category with 5,696 votes, Hemkarna B K won under Dalit category with 5,958 votes, Pawan Acharya won under associate category with 5,735 votes.

Likewise, Kalendra Sejuwal secured the post of treasurer with 5,678 votes.

Among all the 39 posts, a whopping 37 posts were won by Pokharel's panel. Only two members from other panels of Province 1 and Province 2 won the election.

This is the first time all members of FNJ have been elected under direct election system.

The election was held on April 7.

Speaking to THT, Pokharel said, "Election is only a process.

Now that I am the president of FNJ, I wish to represent all journalists and work for their welfare."

He further said that the FNJ would not compromise on professionalism and the rights of journalists.

Regarding the hardship faced by journalists in the country, he said that around 10 per cent of all journalists had been displaced due to the pandemic and above 71 per cent of journalists were facing financial crisis.

"Keeping this grim reality in mind, I will bring some immediate relief package for journalists and initiate talks with the government about long-term solutions to these problems."

A version of this article appears in the print on April 11, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.