Bibeksheel Nepali moves to top court against poll body’s refusal to register it as a partyThe Bibeksheel Nepali Party, a breakaway faction of the Bibeksheel Sajha Party, moved to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, challenging the Election Commission’s decision to deny it registration as a political party.
The Bibeksheel Nepali Party, a breakaway faction of the Bibeksheel Sajha Party, moved to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, challenging the Election Commission’s decision to deny it registration as a political party.
The party’s chairperson, Ujwal Thapa, filed a writ at the court, claiming that the poll body’s decision was illegal and it be quashed.
After parting ways from the Bibeksheel Sajha on January 11, the Thapa-led faction had submitted an application to the commission seeking to register his political party retaining the original name, Bibeksheel Nepali.
The youth party had decided to merge with the Sajha Party, led by Rabindra Mishra, to form the Bibeksheel Sajha Party in June 2017 ahead of the local elections. Their union hardly lasted eight months.
Following the party split, Thapa and his group had submitted the commission a namelist of 16 leaders from the 37-member central working committee as the central leaders of the breakaway party.
But the commission refused to register the party, saying that the Bibeksheel Sajha had 33 central committee members, and among the names of the 16 central leaders submitted by the Thapa faction, only 13 were central committee members of the Bibeksheel Sajha.
Election commissioner Ishwari Poudel told the Post that Bibeksheel Nepali did not meet the criteria prescribed in the Political Party Act 2017, which says a splinter group requires 40 percent members each from the central working committee and the parliamentary party of the federal parliament to become eligible for party registration. “The split-away faction couldn’t ensure 40 percent representation,” Poudel said.
The leaders of Bibeksheel Nepali, however, refused to buy the commission’s argument.
They say the election governing body did not bother to see the updated list of the central committee and relied solely on the list that was submitted during the merger of the two parties in 2017.
Milan Pandey, spokesperson of Bibeksheel Nepali, told the Post that they had submitted the list of 37 members while updating the property details at the commission.
“The Election Commission referred to the list that was with it prior to the elections. The selection of candidates during the elections was done by a 37-member committee and that fact the commission missed while taking its decision,” said Pandey.
A group of leaders led by Thapa had parted away from the Mishra-led party, citing serious differences over fundamental values of the party.
They had also accused Mishra of overlooking the basic principles and taking decisions without consulting with his co-chair, Thapa.
According to Poudel, the chances of Bibeksheel Nepali getting recognition of a political party were slim, unless the court directs otherwise. “However, they are free to register a party in another name,” he said.