UML residential meet to sort issues

  • FPTP election candidate selection, joint manifesto review on the agenda
- Post Report, Kathmandu
Most of the proportional representation nominees ‘will be changed’ before October 23 deadline for reviewing the list

Oct 18, 2017-Mired in a number of issues ahead of the provincial and federal elections, the main opposition CPN-UML on Tuesday started a three-day residential Standing Committee meeting to resolve a number of issues including finalisation of candidates under the proportional representation (PR) category.

Though the UML submitted the list of PR candidates to the Election Commission on Sunday, sources said most of the nominees will be changed before the October 23 deadline for reviewing the list.

The UML is facing a tough time as PR recommendations from provincial and district committees number 8 to 10 times the number of seats available. The federal parliament has 110 seats while the seven provincial parliaments have 220 seats in total for the PR candidates.

Moreover, the party, according to sources, has to strike a balance in selection of candidates supporting the establishment faction led by Chairman KP Sharma Oli and the rival camp of senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.“This meeting will discuss the PR candidates in detail and seal their names,” said Surya Thapa, deputy chief of the UML Central Publicity Department, told the Post. The party had hosted a similar event before the second Constituent Assembly elections held in 2013. The meeting is being held at the Gokarna Forest Resort.

The meeting will also pick candidates for the first-past-the-post (FPTP) election system. With two major communist parties UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) announcing an electoral alliance putting forth a plan of party merger after the polls, it has been difficult for top leaders to manage an added number of aspirants. A taskforce assigned to divide constituencies between the two parties, led by UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokhrel, has failed in its purpose. The Standing Committee meeting will make the UML’s position clear, in a way to ease the panel’s task.

Another issue to be discussed at the meeting is the election manifesto. A team tasked with drafting a manifesto comprising Bam Dev Gautam, Bhim Rawal and Pradeep Gyawali from the UML; and Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Dev Gurung and Bishwo Bhakta Dulal from the Maoist Centre has already prepared a 32-page document. The UML Standing Committee will review the draft and suggest changes, which will then be assessed by top leaders of the UML and the Maoist Centre, according to Thapa.

At the party headquarters on Tuesday, UML Chairman KP Oli claimed that the party would form governments at the centre and the provinces after the scheduled elections with an aim to promote national interest, good governance and to work for the country’s prosperity. The result of the local level elections has made the UML the biggest party, he asserted.

Published: 18-10-2017 07:16

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