UCPN (Maoist) votes today for party bodies

  • BRB boycotts polls; Shrestha may run for vice-chair

May 24, 2014-

Despite opposition from the Baburam Bhattarai faction, the UCPN (Maoist) Central Committee (CC) meeting on Saturday decided to hold elections on Sunday to fulfil posts in party’s key structures—Officer Bearers, Standing Committee and Politburo. The elections will begin at noon on Sunday.

The meeting endorsed the election procedures and formed a three-member committee, comprising Nanda Kumar Prasai, Ram Narayan Bidari and Ram Nath Mainali for the purpose.

As the rival factions failed to reach a consensus, the party opted to go for an election for these posts—the first time in party’s history so far.

The election will select nine office bearers, 17 standing committee members and 51 politburo members. The Central Committee is the most powerful of the party’s four structures.

Bhattarai had suggested the party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal not to hold an election, saying that it would create further divisions in the party.

But Dahal ruled out the selection through consensus pointing to the expectedly high number of aspirants vying for the Office Bearers, Standing Committee and Politburo. Leaders of the Dahal faction claimed though Bhattarai is advocating for the intra-party democracy, he is refusing to join the intra-party election process for fear of losing due to their weak position.

The Bhattarai faction, however, defended their position to boycott the election saying that there was no consensus inside the party on holding such elections. “We will not file any nominations and vote in the elections,” said Devendra Poudel, a leader close to Bhattarai. According to election procedures, all 151 CA members of the party, besides wielding voting rights, can file their nomination for any positions.

There will be elections for all positions except for party chairman—Dahal was re-elected to the post at the party’s national convention.

At the national convention held earlier this month, the party had initially opted for an 84-member CC but Dahal later expanded it to 151, inducting 30 members

from the Bhattarai camp following pressure from the latter. The Bhattarai faction joined the CC, but differences over other structures remain unsettled.

Another senior leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha seems ready to go for the election. He is likely to file his nomination for vice-chairman, the post he has held since 2009. “I am ready to take any responsibility that party entrusts me,” Shrestha told Post.

The CC meeting has picked four candidates for the by-election scheduled for June 22. Lila Mani Poudel will contest from Kathmandu-2, Bhuwan Chaudhary from Bardiya-2, Ram Sajan Rana Kailai-6 and Khusiram Pakhrin from Chitwan-4.


Published: 25-05-2014 09:23

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