Leaders agree on number of office bearers, election process

Kathmandu, December 22

Nepali Congress Statute Drafting Committee Coordinator Purna Bahadur Khadka presented the draft statute of the party on the eighth day of the Maha Samiti meeting today. The gathering is likely to endorse the statute ‘as it is’ tomorrow before its formal conclusion.

Although the gathering was originally planned to run for five days, it has been extended till tomorrow due to the party leadership’s failure to reach consensus on contentious provisions in the draft statute, especially those related to the number of office bearers and their election process.

After week-long negotiations, warring factions of the NC last evening agreed that the party would have 14 office-bearers, including a president, two vice-presidents, two general secretaries, a treasurer and eight co-general secretaries representing reservation clusters—women, Dalits, indigenous nationalities, Khas-Arya, Madhesis, Tharus, Muslims, and backward areas and minorities.

All other office-bearers will be elected through the general convention, except for the treasurer, who will be nominated by the party president and endorsed by the Central Working Committee. For the CWC, the draft statute has provisioned 167 members, of which 33 will be nominated by the party president.

In today’s meeting, a total of 26 Maha Samiti members put forth their views on the draft amendment, according to NC Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma.

While some welcomed the new provisions, others said electing all the office bearers would weaken the party president, affecting smooth functioning of the party. The members said that the provision of eight co-general secretaries representing reservation clusters would also undermine meritocracy in an executive body. They also said the CWC members should be elected from the ward level.

However, leaders say chances were slim that the views presented in the Maha Samiti would be incorporated in the statute. “Since the two factions have reached an understanding, the statute is likely to be endorsed as it is,” the NC leader said on condition of anonymity.

Also, almost half of the Maha Samiti members have already left for their respective home districts and a comprehensive discussion on the statute is unlikely.