Preliminary draft proposes more power to presidentThe Sher Bahadur Deuba faction of Nepali Congress (NC) is trying its best to make the party president more powerful through legal course.
The Sher Bahadur Deuba faction of Nepali Congress (NC) is trying its best to make the party president more powerful through legal course.
A preliminary draft prepared by the statute amendment committee led by NC General Secretary Purna Bahadur Khadka has proposed granting Deuba full authority to appoint party office-bearers, among other issues.
“Only the election of central president will be held and the president will then appoint other office bearers from the elected members, and the appointments will be informed to the party Central Working Committee,” according to the draft.
The rival faction suspects it is an attempt to revert the party back to one-person leadership. The draft includes their opinion as ‘alternative views’.
The rival faction has put forward two alternatives. First, al office-bearers, including the president, should come through election. The second alternative says, elect 70 percent of the officer-bearers, and nominate the remaining 30 percent. A committee member said the proposal attempts to replicate the parliamentary system. He said the draft amendment aims to redefine the role of the party leadership structure by making the president’s role similar to that of prime minister. The office-bearers would be like ministers, and central members’ role would be similar to lawmakers.
The existing party statute has provision of holding elections for the posts of the president, a general secretary and a treasurer.
As per the current provision, the party president will nominate candidates for the posts of vice president, general secretary and deputy general secretary.
Statute Amendment Panel Co-ordinator Purna Bahadur Khadka said the preliminary draft has incorporated all suggestions received so far.
NC leaders close to Deuba have stressed the need to remove the provision that “ties the hands and legs” of the president. The rival faction insists on holding elections, saying the party president is autocratic.
The NC had adopted group leadership at its 12th General Convention. Prior to that, the party functioned under the sole leadership of late Girija Prasad Koirala.
NC central leader Arjun Narsingh KC said the party cannot revert to single leadership from the group leadership.
“When power is confined to one person, there will always be the danger of autocracy in the party,” said KC. “We can only meet the challenge of making the party big again in the next four years through check and balance of power.”
Establishment leader Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said the elected president should be empowered so as not to limit his freedom to pursue his plans and policies.
“If the hands of party president are tied, he cannot take ahead his agenda and the organisation will not be dynamic,” said Karki. “There would always be another general convention to decide the leadership, so the president’s rights should not be curtailed.”
The draft proposal has proposed a 131-member working committee including a president, two vice presidents, two general secretaries, three deputy general secretaries and a treasurer.
Alternative proposals recommend 101-member or 121-member committee with 10 office-bearers. Members across the country would discuss the preliminary draft before approving it.