CPN-UML to finalise CM candidates thru secret ballot

  • The party has directed its rank and file to refrain from activities that can hurt party unity

Kathmandu, January 30

The CPN-UML’s standing committee meeting today decided to select chief ministerial candidates through secret voting if two or more candidates stake claim to the post.

The meeting also decided that the first meeting of the CPN-UML provincial parliamentary party, which will be chaired by the senior-most leader, would select the provincial parliamentary party leader, who will be the candidate for the CM’s post, immediately after the National Assembly election slated for February 7.

“The parliamentary party meeting will form a three-member election committee if there are two or more aspirants for the top provincial post,” read a UML statement issued after the conclusion of the standing committee meeting.

The party also directed its rank and file to refrain from indulging in activities that could hurt party unity.

As per an agreement with the CPN-MC — the other constituent of the left alliance — the UML will contest the CM’s post in provinces 1, 3, 4 and 5, while the CPN-MC will contest the top post in provinces 6 and 7. The UML will also elect parliamentary party leaders in provinces 2, 6, and 7.

Selecting chief ministerial candidates has become an uphill task for the UML, as there are multiple aspirants for the CM’s post, except in Province 5 where UML leader Shanker Pokharel has already been elected leader of provincial parliamentary party.

UML leaders Sher Dhan Rai and Bhim Acharya have staked their claim to the CM’s post in Province 1, while party Vice-chairperson Asta Laxmi Shakya and Rajendra Pandey are in the race in Province 3, according to a party source. In Province 4, Prithvi Subba Gurung and Kiran Gurung are aspiring for the top post.

Today’s meeting also directed chiefs and deputy chiefs of local units representing the UML — who are also members of the electoral college for the National Assembly election — not to leave the country or their respective provinces until the completion of the NA election.

The party will conduct an orientation programme so as to educate members of the electoral college about the single transferable voting system before the silence period. UML Vice Chairman Bamdev Gautam said the orientation would be completed by February 4.

The standing committee meeting also decided that all the decisions taken by the caretaker government ‘which are harmful to the nation’ will be revoked after the formation of the new government.

As far as the CPN-MC is concerned, the party will select candidates for the posts of chief ministers, provincial assembly speakers and deputy speakers after consulting the respective provincial committees of the party and provincial assembly members, according to CPN-MC Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal.

CPN-MC Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa will finalise chief ministerial candidates.

As per its agreement with the CPN-UML, the CPN-MC will contest chief ministerial post in provinces 6 and 7. The party will also contest the post of assembly speaker in provinces 4 and 5 and deputy speaker in provinces 1, 3, 6 and 7.