THT 10 YEARS AGO: Election Commission to recruit 13,000 staffers for CA polls

Kathmandu, March 5, 2007

The Election Commission (EC) is making preparation to recruit about 13,000 non-permanent employees to conduct constituent assembly election, scheduled for mid-June. It is also preparing to assign national agencies, which are working as per the UN principles, and also invite some keen international observers to observe the elections.

“A total of 1,40,800 staffers are needed for conducting the constituent assembly polls, but we have only 1,09,000. A total of 13,000 are still vacant. The EC is recruiting staffers for six months,” chief election commissioner, Bhoj Raj Pokhrel, apprised the legislature-parliament’s State Affairs Committee (SAC) today.

SAC had invited the Minister for Home Affairs, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, chief election commissioner Pokhrel and Home Secretary Umesh Mainali in the clause-wise discussion on the Election Commission Bill, 2007. The Clause 11 (1) of the Bill allows the government to recruit staffers on temporary basis for conducting polls. Stating that the law has ensured provisions for making the election free and fair, Pokhrel said: “The EC will assign teams to be on the ground to resolve any problem on the spot.

It has been decided to allow those agencies operating as per the UN principles and following the code of conduct to observe the election.

NSU convention put off again

Kathmandu, March 5, 2007

The much-awaited 10th national convention of the Nepal Students’ Union (NSU), the student wing of the Nepali Congress (NC), has been postponed again to May 9-11 due to “inability in conducting district conventions in the Tarai region”.

The NSU central ad hoc committee meeting today postponed the meet, which was earlier scheduled for March 9-11 in Janakpur. Conventions have been held only in 48 districts as of now. NSU vice-president Pradip Poudel said that NSU convention could be used as a platform to promote constituent assembly elections.

This is the third time the 10th NSU convention has been postponed in two years. Keshab Singh, the then NSU president, could not conduct the convention twice in two years after it could not be held in Pokhara in 2005. A former NSU president, requesting anonymity, said that the existing central ad hoc committee has not been able to take the party into confidence. He also said that poor management was one of the reasons behind the postponment of the NSU meet. The conventions have always been organised in the interest of the party.

The NSU convention has always taken a back seat due to various national agendas in the political front. The members are sceptical that the convention would take place at all in the near future, as CA polls are scheduled to be held by June.