Congress set to elect new party prez, CWC315 contenders in fray for 64 positions, including three office bearers
The 13th General Convention of Nepali Congress has formally entered into the election phase with the conclusion of the closed-door session which “conditionally” endorsed the policy and programme of the party presented by Central Working Committee member Mahesh Acharya on the behalf of the Party Acting President Ram Chandra Poudel.
A total of 50 representatives, including 40 district presidents, aired their views on the policy document, most of them demanding amendment, arguing that it is irrelevant to deal with the present political situation of the country. Following reservations of the representatives, the document was endorsed with a condition that it would be revised as per the suggestions before making it public, said Pradeep Parajuli, secretary at the NC Secretariat.
The session also endorsed the Report of the General Secretary presented by Prakash Man Singh and Financial Report presented by outgoing treasurer Chitra Lekha Yadav.
The endorsement of the programme and policy clears the way for implementation of party activities till the next General Convention.
Very few representatives showed interest in taking part in the policy discussion as they were either busy wooing voters for themselves or the leaders they are close with. Those who took part in the discussions were critical of the party leadership, saying it presented “ritualistic report” with no vision to set the course for next four years. They also blamed the party leadership for failing to carry out the agenda of socialism which is the core ideology of the party forwarded by BP Koirala.
“The party seems to have lost sight of its core values and this needs to be corrected,” said NC president from Morang Rajib Koirala. The representatives also criticised the party for failing to provide concrete vision of the party on federalism and boundary of the states.
Taking part in the discussion, NC President from Chitwan Jeet Narayan Shrestha demanded that the party end the 60-40 division of the party along factional lines. He also blamed the central leaders for promoting factionalism within the party—contrary to the wishes of a large section of the cadres.
According to Parajuli, a committee will be formed to incorporate the issues raised by the representatives to revise the programme and policy.
“All other activities except the election for the leadership have been accomplished with the conclusion of the closed-door session,” he added.
As many as 3,218 representatives will cast their votes to elect 64-member Central Working Committee, including three office bearers.
The vote count of president will start immediately after the election which is likely to be completed by Monday morning, said Gopal Krishha Ghimire member of Election Committee of the party.
The counting for the remaining posts will be carried out only after the counting for presidential post concludes. “As there could be second round of election if no one secures above 50 percent votes, we will finish counting for the party president first,” he said.
Acting President Ram Chandra Poudel, senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and outgoing General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula are in the fray for the top post.
Ghimire said that 315 candidates are vying for the 64 posts, including office bearers. Out of 375 leaders who had registered nominations on Friday, 60 had withdrawn their candidacy by the time the final list was published on Saturday afternoon.
All three presidential candidates have their own candidates for office bearers’ position and CWC members. There are also some independent candidates for CWC.