UML 9th Gen Convention kicks off

  • Party top brass promises a new statute by Jan 22 next year n Reiterates commitment to lead the country’s economic revolution
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 3, 2014-

Leaders of the ruling CPN-UML have expressed their commitment to lead the country’s economic revolution by promulgating a new constitution within six months as committed in the party’s election manifesto.

Party’s senior leaders said they have joined the Nepali Congress-led government despite ideological difference to deliver the longstanding constitution writing process on time. Addressing the party representatives on the opening day of its 9th National Congress on Thursday, they assured of adopting all possible measures to fulfill the commitment regardless of whoever is elected to the party’s top position.

All top party leaders—Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal, senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, Parliamentary Party leader KP Sharma Oli and Vice-chairman Bam Dev Gautam—accorded top priority to a timely promulgation of the constitution.

The leaders said their efforts to institutionalise political achievements gained so far would be futile unless they deliver the new constitution this time. “There is no alternative to promulgating the new constitution in time for institutionalising federal republic,” said Chairman Khanal. “UML commits to promulgate a new constitution by January 22 next year.”

Federal democratic republic, federalism, secularism and inclusiveness, abolishing 240-year-old monarchical system are considered key achievements of the Jana Andolan II.  

However, the constitution writing process was halted after the dissolution of Constituent Assembly in 2012 as major political parties could not agree on key constitutional issues, such as forms of governance and federalism.

The task of constitution writing got a new lease of life after the second CA election in November last year and the major political parties representing in the new CA had committed to give the new constitution within a year.

 “We will fight against any forms of obstacles that stand on our way to deliver the new constitution on time,” said Khanal.

In their congratulatory message, the leaders of other parties and visiting delegates from various countries also stressed on the need for promulgating a new constitution on time.  Lauding the UML for bringing together the Congress and Maoist parties to sign the peace deal in the past, they suggested the UML top brass to play moderating role in constitution writing process.

“Instead of engaging in an ideological conflict, we should look for a middle path to set up a federal democratic republic. I hope UML leaders will also play a positive role to accommodate any dissatisfaction we may have,” said Acting NC President Ram Chandra Poudel.

Underling the need for a political consensus, UCPN (Maoist) leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha asked the UML leaders to approach the parties outside the CA, including Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist, to bring them on board the statute drafting process.

From Friday the party will start discussion on its political document that stressed on the need for adopting the policy to go for economic revolution after the promulgation of the new constitution, party statute and organisational report.

The convention will elect a new leadership, with senior leader and former Prime Minister Nepal and Oli vying for the hot seat. Over 2,300 delegates elected from across the country and aboard will vote to elect a 149-member central body, including office bearers.

Leaders close to Oli have been demanding for his unanimous selection, arguing that both Nepal and Khanal have already assumed the top position. But Nepal, who is said to have the equal number of delegates to that of Oli, has refused to backtrack from the race and is seeking party Chairman Khanal’s support to return to the party leadership.

“We will do our best to elect the party leadership through consensus. If not, the healthy competition is required to elect the new leadership,” said Nepal.

Leaders close to Nepal claimed Khanal had assured of supporting him in return for accommodating his men such as Bhim Acharya and Purushottam Poudel in Nepal’s team.  

Oli’s supporters, however, refused the claim. “Of late, the chairman is playing a

balance act. I don’t think he will support Nepal,” said Rajan Bhattarai.

Published: 04-07-2014 08:46

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