Major parties working to take federal shapeWith the country formally adopting a federal structure with the promulgation of the new constitution four months ago, the major parties—Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist)—have begun the process to adapt their party structures to the new administrative context. The new constitution has envisaged a three-tier structure of government: federal, provincial and local.
With the country formally adopting a federal structure with the promulgation of the new constitution four months ago, the major parties—Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist)—have begun the process to adapt their party structures to the new administrative context. The new constitution has envisaged a three-tier structure of government: federal, provincial and local.
Internal deliberations are under way in the largest party, Nepali Congress, to elect Central Working Committee members from each federal unit, replacing the current system of zonal representation. Even though the party outlines the new structure, this is unlikely to be implemented from the upcoming general convention scheduled for March. However, there will be no changes at the village level as the convention of those bodies will kick-start from next week.
There is also increasing discussion on ensuring proportional inclusive representation in line with the constitutional principles. “Now we have a challenge to ensure the representation of various ethnic groups in our decision-making level and we are working on it,” said Formulha Mansur, a member of NC statute amendment committee. “We will prepare a tentative federal structure of the party and will present at the meeting of top leaders.” A committee led by Ananda Prasad Dhungana is working on how the party’s structures could be transformed into the federal shape.
The NC establishment proposes appointing seven general secretaries and deputing them as provincial heads. But there is no agreement among the top leaders on the issue.
The second largest party, CPN-UML, has also begun preparations to transform the party organisation to suit the federal structure. According to Party Secretary Yogesh Bhattarai, they are preparing to change the party’s statute as soon as possible. “We will reach a conclusion on how to amend the party charter within a month,” said Bhattarai.
According to UML leaders, the party is organising events and training sessions for transition to the federal structure. “We cannot transform structures overnight like other parties because we have a democratic way of taking decisions,” said Bhattarai.
The UCPN (Maoist) is gradually adopting federal structures in the functioning of its party structure. The party has already formed seven provincial structures appointing its heads and secretaries. Party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is training the party leaders and cadres at the provincial level. Earlier, the party had 14 ethnic states. According to Party Spokesman Dina Nath Sharma, they are preparing to dissolve the party’s districts committees. “The adjustment of district leaders and offices is our major challenge,” said Sharma.
The party, according to Sharma, has sent circulars to make local structures inclusive as per the spirit of the new constitution. “We are working to empower the
local bodies,” said Sharma. Within June, the party plans to completely transform its structure.