Cong talks EVMs, takes water tanksAgainst its own announcement to adopting electronic voting, the Nepali Congress used black plastic drums as ballot boxes in the general convention.
Against its own announcement to adopting electronic voting, the Nepali Congress used black plastic drums as ballot boxes in the general convention. Physically challenged representatives struggled to drop ballots in the tall containers. NC leader Ram Hari Khatiwada blamed “the interests” of some leaders for the decision. “We had suggested using electronic voting machines,” he said. For party conventions, the Election Commission generally provides logistical support. This time, however, the EC was not consulted. “They did not come to me for ballot boxes. I could have provided electronic support and materials if they had asked for them,” said acting Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav.
No major policy, structural changes
The 13th General Convention of the Nepali Congress concluded on Sunday without making significant changes to its policy/programme, and structure despite becoming the first party to hold the convention after the country adopted its new constitution.
With voting ending on Sunday evening to elect new office bearers and the Central Working Committee, all the convention activities are over. The jamboree has endorsed the policies and programmes presented by Acting President Ram Chandra Poudel without significant changes.
The convention also made little change to the party’s statute in line with the country’s federal structure. The only change was to elect two CWC members from each of the seven federal units.
Poudel had proposed increasing the number of office bearers but the faction led by Sher Bahadur Deuba opposed it. The proposal prepared by Ananda Prasad Dhungana was not presented to the CWC due to disputes. The policy paper notes implementation of the new constitution as a major challenge and that the party should take a lead in the job. “Without the NC’s leadership, it is not possible to implement the constitution,” the document reads.
The document drew widespread criticism “for failing to provide the party a direction”. On the Madhes issues, the document states that the party is ready for another amendment to the constitution.
In the two-day closed session, 42 district representatives and those from abroad commented on the political documents.
Participants complained of lack of time for discussion on the papers. The convention also endorsed the organisational report presented by General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula, who said the party’s Mahasamiti would take final decisions about transforming the party structure.
The financial report presented by Treasurer Chitra Lekha Yadav was also endorsed. As many as 3,162 convention representatives were elected from 240 electoral constituencies and foreign wings of the party. There were 312 candidates for 64 positions to be directly elected by the convention.
After incumbent party president Sushil Koirala died as the party was holding its district conventions, Acting President Poudel, senior leader Deuba and General Secretary Sitaula fought for the top NC post. The 13th GC began on Thursday, six years after the 12th was held in 2010.