The main opposition CPN-UML will inaugurate its 10th general convention in Sauraha, Chitwan, at 12:00pm tomorrow.

The GC will elect 210 central committee members and 15 office bearers, including one chairperson, one senior vice-chairperson, four vice-chairpersons, a general secretary, a deputy general secretary, and seven secretaries.

UML GC will also elect 15 office bearers of the Central Disciplinary Commission and 15 office bearers of the Central Accounts Commission. Incumbent Chair KP Sharma Oli will be one of the candidates for the chairperson's post. Bhim Bahadur Rawal has announced that he will also contest the top party post.

According to UML Headquarters Secretary Sher Bahadur Tamang, 50 per cent of the 2,200- plus general convention representatives had already arrived in Chitwan and 90 per cent of the preparation work had already been completed by 5:00pm.

Tamang said the organising committee would complete the preparation by midnight.

The UML expects five lakh people to come to Chitwan to witness the main opposition party's general convention.

Tamang said his party had requested transport entrepreneurs to use a detour to avoid four- to five-hour-long traffic jam that could be caused due to the gathering of a large number of cadres and people.

Observers from 10 countries have arrived in Nepal to take part in the UML convention.

Tamang said his party did not invite too many international observers in view of the COVID pandemic in other countries.

Tamang said party leaders wanted to elect their candidates on the basis of consensus, but since there were multiple aspirants for the same posts, elections could be inevitable.

Tamang said the 10th GC would be significant as it would give the message of party unity and UML's political strength.

Tamang said his party chose Chitwan as it had a strong base there and it wanted to help revive one of the popular tourist destinations.

The party, which collected Rs 100 from each cadre, has booked hotel rooms in Sauraha for almost 4,000 people. Tamang said his party chose Chitwan also to highlight Nepal's effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change and protect endangered wild animals.

He said CPN-Maoist Centre Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal's remarks that UML was trying to harm his political career by organising the GC in his home district was wrong. "We have a strong base in Chitwan and have multiple reasons to organise our GC in Chitwan. Why should we give importance to Dahal, who is losing his relevance in the country's politics due to his own mistakes?" Tamang said.

The GC will end on Sunday.

Dahal, who has not shared dais with Oli in the past few months particularly after the unification of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) was nullified by the Supreme Court, will not attend the UML GC.

CPN-MC leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said Dahal had other programmes to attend tomorrow, but other party leaders would attend the UML GC on behalf of the party. According to a member of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Daube's Private Secretariat, the PM will attend the UML convention tomorrow.

A version of this article appears in the print on November 26, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.