NC CWC endorses draft statute

Kathmandu, December 21

A meeting of the Nepali Congress Central Working Committee this evening unanimously endorsed the draft statute with provisions that will ‘strengthen internal democracy, make the party more inclusive and address factionalism’.

The draft statute, which will be tabled in the Maha Samiti tomorrow, has provisioned 14 office-bearers, including a president, two vice-presidents, two general secretaries, eight co-general secretaries representing reservation clusters in the constitution and a treasurer.

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. Inclusivity has also been maintained in the CWC.

Presently, there are six office bearers in the NC, including a president, a vice president, two general secretaries, a co-general secretary and a treasurer. Of them, the president, a general secretary, and the treasurer are elected, while the rest are nominated by the president.

Spokesperson for the NC Statute Drafting Committee Ramesh Lekhak said the provision of maximum office bearers coming through a voting process would help boost internal democracy in the party, where aspirants would not have to appease top leaders for the nomination to the posts. “It will make aspirants people-oriented, not leader-oriented,” he said.

Each of the 165 federal electoral constituencies will have 25 general convention members who will cast their votes for office bearers.

Leaders said the provision of eight co-general secretaries representing reservation clusters in the constitution — women, Dalits, indigenous nationalities, Khas-Arya, Madhesis, Tharus, Muslims, and backward areas and minorities — will make the party inclusive.

NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC said the provision would ensure that people from all communities could reach the leadership position, and strengthen the notion of collective leadership.

“Hopefully, these provisions will instil new energy in the party,” he said.

However, leaders also raised concerns that ensuring reservation in the executive body would undermine meritocracy and the elected office-bearers would lead to a ‘weak’ party president slowing down the decision-making process.

But NC youth leader Gagan Thapa said since general convention representatives from across the country would vote for candidates representing a certain cluster, it would not undermine meritocracy but promote it.

“For example, a co-general secretary candidate standing under the Dalit quota can win only if s/he can get votes from non-Dalits and is acceptable to them,” he said. “This provision also manifests the centrist nature of the party.”

On concerns that provisions of electing almost all office-bearers will make the party president weaker, Thapa said the new president should be able to work in group and willing to share power.

He said this would also help address factionalism in the party, as people around the president aspiring for office-bearer posts, not the president himself/herself, promoted factionalism to take undue advantages.

“Henceforth, only a person who has wide acceptability, and not from only one faction, can be elected as an office-bearer,” Thapa said. “This will largely end factionalism.”