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NAFEA excom members plan to resign en masse

- Post Report, KATHMANDU
Nearly a dozen executive committee members of the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA) have said they will resign en masse over disagreements with Chairman Hansa Raj Wagle. They have cited differences regarding the election and other matters, and are expected to hand in their papers by Thursday.
The disgruntled members have been endeavouring to dissolve the current executive committee and elect a new one. The NAFEA has not held an election since it last elected Bal Bahadur Tamang who was ousted through a no-confidence motion.
Wagle ascended to the NAFEA leadership by submitting the signatures of two-thirds of its member employment agencies. The petition has been challenged at the Supreme Court amid charges that many signatures had been forged.
Last week, the NAFEA leadership bowing to opposition pressure consented to hold the 23rd general convention on February 27.
Dissident leaders have accused Wagle of trying to avoid holding an election by “buying” a few executive committee members whose support is crucial to dissolve the current working committee.
“He is trying to cling to the top post by preventing an election by influencing a few members with monetary enticement. We cannot accept this,” said Kumud Khanal, NAFEA general secretary. The NAFEA treasurer secretary Sarada Neupane has already submitted his resignation.
They have also accused Wagle of supporting the entry of agents in visa processing services and controversial biometrics from the Malaysian government for his personal benefit.  
The dissident faction lost its earlier majority in the executive board after Ram Raja and Yadav Lamichhane crossed over to the establishment side. Khanal claimed that the two are not eligible to sit on the executive committee as both of them have sold their employment agencies.
Sources said that Wagle was trying to put off the election until he is sure that his side will win.
Five individuals including past chairmen are planning to contest in the election. Sources said that a number of candidates including Wagle, Prem Katuwal, Kiran Kishore Ghimire, Bimal Dhakal, Saroj Pokharel were endeavouring to win the election unopposed.
Tamang, who claims he is not in the race, said there had been a discussion to nominate a suitable individual based on consensus. He said that they were also working to mutually put the Supreme Court case on hold.
“The topmost priority is electing a person based on the consensus of all the sides. If that doesn’t happen, there will be a contest between two candidates,” said Tamang.
Recruiting agencies have been sharply divided along political lines with a majority of them being affiliated to the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML. The front runners for the chairmanship are working to get the support of as many camps as possible with offers of different posts.
Sources said that the NAFEA leadership was attracting many new contenders as the post offers exposure, boosts business opportunities and increases political connections.
Published: 2015-02-12 09:14:33