NC to field own prez candidates

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 25, 2015-

The opposition Nepali Congress has decided to field its own candidates in the election of the President and the Vice President that takes place on Wednesday.

The names would be decided after consultation with other parties in Parliament, a meeting of the party’s office bearers decided on Saturday.

The meeting entrusted top leaders--party President Sushil Koirala, senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel--to hold talks with other parties and garner their support in the NC bid.

The main opposition said it would not support the candidates of other parties but it could pick candidates from Madhesi and margnalised communities.

“Candidate selection depends on circumstances that unfold at the last moment as there are a few days before the election,” NC spokesman Dilendra Prasad Badu said. According to leaders, President Koirala and Janajati leader Kul Bahadur Gurung are probable runners but the party is yet to take a final call.

The party revived the politics of consensus, which was broken by Koirala’s PM candidacy, by supporting Maoist and RPP-Nepal candidates during the Speaker and deputy Speaker election. In return, the NC seeks support in the presidential poll.

“By not fielding our candidates, we stressed consensus and cooperation. During the election of the Speaker and deputy Speaker, the CPN-UML and the UCPN (Maoist) requested our support in writing. We hope they will reciprocate,” said Badu.

Before the office bearers’ meeting on Saturday, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar reached NC President Koirala’s residence for a meeting. Gachhadar is for consensus among the major forces during the presidential election in order to bolster inter-party cooperation.

He has been urging the ruling UML and Maoists that the coalition should support an NC candidate in President for the sake of continuing with the politics of consensus. However, as per its understanding with the Maoists and the RPP-Nepal on the sharing of vital posts, the UML is preparing to field its own candidate.  

The NC Central Working Committee also asked the ruling parties to initiate the process to amend the constitution in order to address the demands of Madhesis, Tharus and the marginalised communities. The NC-led government had registered an amendment proposal at the Parliament Secretariat for the purpose. Though the NC was in favour of registering a proposal before the prime minister’s election, the UML was not ready for it.

The NC has pledged electoral constituency delimitation on the basis of population besides proportional representation of marginalised communities in state bodies--two key demands of the Madhes-based parties.

Published: 25-10-2015 08:21

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