Nepal | May 25, 2020

Civil servants’ bodies clash over trade union election

Tika R Pradhan
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Kathmandu, April 11

Five out of seven trade unions registered in the Labour Department today filed their nomination for the upcoming election of authentic trade union of civil servants amid controversy.

Four of them were agitating after they refused to accept the election schedule published by the office of the Chief Election Officer yesterday, but today, two of them registered their nomination for election.

Interestingly the Chairperson of Nepal Civil Servants Employees Organisation (NCSEO) Saran Kumar Gurung was in police custody when his organisation registered nomination.

The two organisations representing two major Maoist parties have refused to accept the election and leaders have been claiming that they will find a political solution.

As per the new election schedule, the election date has been fixed by the cabinet meeting for April 22 on Friday declaring a public holiday for civil servants.

The polling day previously scheduled for April 10 could not happen.

However, four trade unions including three affiliated to Unified CPN-Maoist, CPN-Revolutionary Maoist and Madhesi parties and one union of the drivers were agitating against the ‘unilateral’ schedule published without consulting them.

Ten agitators including the chairman of NCSEO Gurung and General Secretary of National Employees Organisation affiliated Civil Service Committee Prabas Sah were arrested while agitating against the government decision. They wanted their demands to be met before the election.

Chairman of Nepal Madhes Civil Servants Forum affiliated to Madhesi parties Binod Kumar Singh said his forum registered nomination as per the previous decision of its central committee as revision of the decision was not possible in a day or two.

He said the secretary of the Ministry of General Administration has assured he will fulfil the demands of agitating unions through dialogue scheduled for tomorrow. He said his Forum still stands for the demands raised by the agitating four unions and will continue agitation for the same.

Chief Election Officer Gita Prasad Timsina said five of the seven registered unions have registered nomination for the election, including two of those agitating against the election schedule.

The four trade unions have been agitating against the existing provision of the 20 per cent threshold and inclusion of proportionate election system as well. They have said they will not allow the election to happen if their demands are not met.

Those agitating against the election are Unified CPN-Maoist affiliated Nepal National Employees Organisation (NNEO), CPN-Revolutionary Maoist affiliated National Employees Organisation, Madhesi parties’ affiliated Nepal Madhes Civil Servants Forum and an independent organisation of drivers Nepal Civil Servant Employees Organisation.

While those ready for the election are ruling CPN-UML affiliated Nepal Civil Servants Organisation, Nepali Congress affiliated Nepal Civil Servants Union (Association) and Rastriya Swotantra Karmachari Milan Kendra.

Chairman of agitating NNEO Hari Rawal claimed that election was not possible by leaving behind major organisations and they were not ready to let the election happen unless the government fulfilled their demands.

“Threshold of 20 per cent was not justifiable in the election of civil servants when there is no threshold in the national elections,” Rawal said.

Chief Election Officer Timsina said only a Cabinet decision could address their concerns.


A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.


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