Rival Congress camps join forces to rein in Deuba’s power ambitionTwo rival factions of Nepali Congress, one led by Ram Chandra Poudel and the other by Krishna Prasad Sitaula, have decided to stand together to counter a provision in the party’s draft statute that proposes granting more power to the party president.
Two rival factions of Nepali Congress, one led by Ram Chandra Poudel and the other by Krishna Prasad Sitaula, have decided to stand together to counter a provision in the party’s draft statute that proposes granting more power to the party president.
The two camps held a gathering on Wednesday to discuss how they could stop the party president from expanding his power.
The draft statute prepared by a committee, led by NC General Secretary Purna Bahadur Khadka, has proposed granting the party president full authority to appoint office-bearers. It states that only the election of the central president will be held, and the president will appoint other office-bearers from the elected members.
In Wednesday’s meeting, party leaders Poudel, Sashanka Koirala, Shekhar Koirala, Ram Sharan Mahat, Prakash Man Singh, Arjun Nar Singh KC, Nabindra Joshi, Gagan Thapa and Pradeep Poudel concluded that the provision of granting more power to the president was against the democratic spirit.
Poudel urged the leaders of the both camps to stand together against the concept of powerful party president and not to float the name of the party president in the upcoming General Convention that is being held after more than two years.
“We broadly agreed that the concept of powerful party president or giving more authority to the party president is not good for the party,” said Joshi.
“The power of the party president cannot be more than what he currently enjoys,” he added.While Deuba is likely to contest for the top post in the party’s 14th general convention, there are multiple candidates from rival factions. Senior leader Poudel, Sashanka and Shekhar—both from the Koirala clan—are reportedly vying for the post of the party president. But a party source said that it was Poudel that the incumbent President Sher Bahadur Deuba needed to worry about if the former were to secure the support of the Sitaula camp.
NC leaders said it was going to be tough for President Deuba to get the draft statute approved from the Mahasamiti meeting, since he lacks the two-thirds majority.The upcoming meetings of the Mahasamiti and the Central Working Committee (CWC) are going to be crucial for Deuba, they added.The party statute currently grants the president the authority to appoint vice-president, secretary general, joint secretary general and 21 CWC members.
The draft statute has proposed granting the elected president the authority to nominate the candidates for all nine office-bearers posts.It has also recommended increasing the strength of the CWC members from the existing 85 to 133.
To discuss on draft statute, the NC has conducted gathering in all seven provinces and collected feedbacks from all party ranks and files.The coordinators are already in Kathmandu to present their findings. The party will began discussion on the feedbacks and suggestions provided by the party workers from Thursday.