Nepali Congress to hold general convention on November 25-29The party has constitutional and legal obligations to hold its general convention before mid-September.
The Nepali Congress has decided to hold its 14th general convention from November 25 to 29.
A meeting of the party’s central working committee on Saturday decided to hold the long-stalled 14th general convention from November 25-29, said party spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma.
Earlier, the party had decided to convene the general convention from September 1-4 in Kathmandu but after failing to resolve the row over the distribution of active membership, it could not implement the timeline.
Active members are the primary voters of the party who elect representatives at ward levels. There are 6,743 wards in Nepal.
As per the revised schedule, on September 3 the party will hold ward-level conventions, which mark the starting point for the general convention.
“If we begin the ward-level conventions before mid-September or earlier, the party will be able to meet the schedule for the general convention and avert the risk of being invalidated,” a senior Nepali Congress leader said.
The party has constitutional and legal obligations to hold its general convention before mid-September and party senior leaders including Ram Chandra Paudel have been warning that failure to meet the obligations would land the party in serious trouble.
As per the party charter, the party has to complete ward-level conventions in one day. Then gradually conventions at the local level, provinces and federal electoral constituencies and districts will be held, said Sharma.
The party has to conduct conventions at eight levels before the general convention is held to elect new party committees and new leadership.
Earlier during Saturday’s meeting, the party’s two rival factions—one led by party president and prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and the other by senior leader Paudel—had locked horns over the date for the general convention.
The Deuba camp was for postponing the general convention to November citing the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing dispute over active membership distribution. But the Paudel faction had insisted that the party must hold the convention on September 1-4 to meet the legal and constitutional obligations.
As per the party charter of the Nepali Congress, the party should convene its periodic general convention in an interval of four years, which would mean it should have held the general convention before March 2020.
But due to internal differences and domestic political situation, the party extended the term and mandate of all party’s elected committees by a year — until March 2021. But the party again missed the March 21 deadline owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Again the party as per the constitutional provision, decided to extend the term of all elected by six months and decided to hold the general convention from September 1-4 in Kathmandu.
“After reviewing the Covid situation that is in upward trajectory, row over unfinished distribution of active membership of the party, busy schedule of leaders after the party heading the government, and some technical difficulties, we decided to defer the general convention to November,” said party general secretary Purna Bahadur Khadka. He claimed that the decision was unopposed.
The meeting also formed a three-member panel of Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Minendra Rijal and Ramesh Lekhak to resolve the dispute over distribution of active membership.
The meeting also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, the ongoing agitation by Gurkha veterans in London who are demanding pensions and other benefits on par with their British counterparts, and the problem of Nepali youths selected for South Korean jobs under the Employment Permit System who have not been able to leave the country to take up the jobs, among other issues.
The central working committee members also asked the government to vaccinate all college and university students so that they could participate in in-person exams, said party spokesperson Sharma.