Bipul Pokhrel-led panel sweeps all positions of Federation of Nepali JournalistsThe panel backed by the Nepali Congress and Maoist Centre, among others, beat the panel backed by Oli’s UML and other parties.
The panel of journalists backed by associations close to the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) has won 51 of the 52 positions of the central committee of the Federation of Nepali Journalists defeating a panel backed by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s CPN-UML.
After practicing a system of indirect voting for decade the outgoing office bearers led by president Govinda Acharya had adopted a direct election system by amending the statute to allow all the Federation’s general members to vote for central office-bearers.
Bipul Pokhrel, backed by 11 associations, including Madhav Nepal-led UML faction and Rastriya Janamorcha, was elected president beating Nirmala Sharma-led panel backed also by journalists associations close to Janata Samajbadi Party, Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Netra Bikram Chand’s Communist Party of Nepal.
Pokhrel won with 6,942 votes while Sharma got 3,915 but the independent candidate Gajendra Budhathoki, who dared to stand against the candidates supported by different political parties received only 491 votes.
After the election committee announced the results, newly elected chairman Pokhrel expressed his commitment not to let any effect of political parties in the federation’s activities including its policy making process.
“I want to assure everyone that I won’t let any political influence in the decision making process and policy making process of the federation,” said Pokhrel. “I will never compromise on the issues of working journalists.”
The Federation has come hugely under the shadow of politics and this year it was even more so, raising fears over journalists’ integrity.
Outgoing general secretary Ramesh Bista was elected senior vice-chair, Bala Adhikary was elected vice-chair (woman), Uday GM vice-chair (inclusive), Roshan Puri general secretary.
Six secretaries elected today are Govinda Chaulagain (open category), Narayan Kilambu (Janajati), Pawan Acharya (associate category); Hem Karna BK (Dalit), Srijana Aryal (woman), Dipendra Chauhan (Madhesi). Kalendra Sejuwal has been elected new treasurer.
Lekhnath Neupane has been elected coordinator of the Accounts Committee while Devi Sapkota and Mukunda Bhandari its members.
The committee was envisioned to monitor the expenses of the federation.
Interestingly, one candidate Mani Dahal, who stood as an independent candidate for the central member representing the corporate branch happened to win despite the strong political syndicate when all other 51 candidates won with political backing.
Central members include Madhav Poudel, Basudev Sharma, Chhabilal Tiwari, Ramesh Khatiwada and Shivaraj Khatri from open category; Sarita Timsina (Woman-Khas); Lalita Kumari Sah (Woman-Madhesi woman); Shanta Aangbuhang (woman Janajati); Sarita Baraili (Woman-Dalit); Bhisan Rai (Aadibasi); Sanchu Lama (Aadibasi-woman); Prakash Dhaulakoti (Dalit); Radha Nepali (Dalit-woman);Subhas Prasad Sah (Madhesi); Rinku Kumari Mishra (Madhesi-woman); Nabin Rijal (differently-abled); Ekbal Ahamad (Minority).
Two each members were elected in the 10 different provinces including seven geographical ones —Amar Khadka and Dipendra Rai from Province 1; KC Lamichhane and Shiva Puri from Province 2; Sunil Khadka and Dhruba Rawal from Bagmati; Tribhuvan Poudel and Pradip Kafle from Gandaki; Bhawani Pande and Sushil Pokhrel from Lumbini; Dipendra Sharma and Bhim SIngh from Karnali; Uttar Bista and Bharat Shah from Sudur Paschim; Shanta Ram Bidari and Gyan Prasad Poudel from Kathmandu Valley; Ram Krishna Adhikari and Mani Dahal from corporate and Kriti Bhattarai and Bikas Karki from Associate.