NC CWC continues office bearers’ election debate

Kathmandu, December 4

Nepali Congress central working committee meeting that started last Thursday to discuss the draft amendment to the party’s statute has mostly focused on provisions related to the number of office bearers and the way they are elected.

As of today, 47 CWC members expressed their opinions on the draft amendment. They are clearly divided into two groups — those for increasing the number of office bearers and filling the posts through election, and those opposed to the idea.  The draft amendment has proposed increasing the number of CWC members from 85 to 131, but has kept the number of office bearers and their election process as it is.

As per the existing provision, the party’s president, one general-sectary and one treasurer are elected through the general convention, while the president nominates one vice-president, one general-secretary and one joint-general-secretary. Also, the draft proposes that the president can nominate 25 per cent of CWC members, a continuation to the existing provision.

CWC members representing the NC factions led by senior leader Ramchandra Paudel and Krishna Prasad Sitaula advocated increasing the number of office bearers with increased number of CWC members. They are also for electing all office bearers through the general convention rather than the president nominating them.

“The number of office bearers should be increased also to validate the appointment of Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar as the party’s vice-president,” said CWC member Pradip Paudel.

The party recently appointed Gachchhadar to the post as per the understanding reached at the time of merger between the NC and the then Nepal Loktantrik Forum led by Gachchhadar, although the statute had provisioned only one vice-president.

Presently, the president proposes the names of office bearers to the CWC and the selection is done, which means only those proposed by the president can become candidates for the posts. “The idea is to enable those aspiring for the post to file candidacy in the general convention,” said Pradip Paudel, adding that debate was also under way on 60:40 (direct and proportional representation) system of election of members of all party bodies.

Other issues being discussed in the CWC include rights to be given to the party’s bodies in provinces and districts, especially in relation to selection of candidates for provincial and local elections.

The draft statute provisions selection of candidates for all three tiers of elections from the central parliamentary board. However, some CWC members are for forming a parliamentary board at all three levels to finalise candidates. A few days ago, a gathering of the party’s district presidents had also made the same recommendation.

After the CWC endorses the draft statute, it will then be presented to the Maha Samiti meet to be held in Kathmandu from December 14 to18. If the CWC fails to endorse the draft statute unanimously, it will be put to vote in the Maha Samiti, and two-third votes will be required to finalise any contentious provision.

“The leaders will, nevertheless, get the draft statute passed through the CWC unanimously just to avoid a complicated Maha Samiti process,” said a CWC member. “I do not know why this debate on the number of office bearers is being held as the establishment faction will anyway have to increase the number to validate Gachchhadar’s appointment.”