Four candidates vie for president
KATHMANDU, March 3: The 13th General Convention of the largest political party in parliament, Nepali Congress (NC), is starting in the capital on Thursday.
The four day-long general convention will elect a new leadership, amend the party's statute as well as hold deliberations and endorse the policy and program of the party for the next four years.
The inauguration ceremony of the convention will be held at Tundikhel Khulamanch in the afternoon. NC top leaders, leaders of other major political parties and some foreign delegates will address the inauguration ceremony.
Chief Minister of India's Bihar state, Nitish Kumar; Information Minister of Bangladesh Hasanul Haq Inu; and General Secretary Socialist International Luis Ayala have arrived in Kathmandu to attend the inauguration ceremony. Vice Chairman of the Indian ruling party BJP, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari including a dozen leaders from India and other various countries will also attend the inauguration ceremony.
The closed-door session will start at Bhrikutmandap on Friday. The session will discuss and adopt party policy and program, statute amendment proposal and report by one of the party general secretaries on party organizational activities.
Top leaders of Nepali Congress have said that the party will adopt the policy and program that focuses on implementing the new constitution in the country. Speaking at a press meet organized to inform about the preparations of the general convention at the party's headquarters in Sanepa on Wednesday, party's acting president
Ram Chandra Paudel, senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and general secretaries duo Prakash Man Singh and Krishna Sitaula said that the party will also adopt policy on institutionalizing democratic achievements and economic prosperity in the country.
Voting for the new leadership will be held at Rastriya Sabha Griha on Sunday. The party started distributing forms for filing candidacies from the NC party office from Wednesday afternoon.
The general convention will elect a party president, a general secretary, a treasurer and 61 central committee members. Party vice president another general secretary, a joint secretary and 21 more central committee members will be nominated by the newly-elected president after the general convention.
As of Wednesday evening, three candidates have announced their candidacies for party presidency. Ram Chandra Paudel, Krishna Sitaula and Sujata Koirala announced their candidacies for president Wednesday. Sher Bahadur Deuba is announcing his candidacy for the top post on Thursday morning.
Party election committee has scheduled 7 am to 12 pm Thursday for filing candidacies for the party office bearers and central committee posts. Voting has been scheduled for Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm. If none of the presidential candidates secures 51 percent of the votes, there will be run-off between the two leading candidates.
According to the party, 3,500 delegates will attend the party general convention which will include 3,170 representatives from across the country and party's sister wings in various 19 countries, volunteers, observers and foreign delegates. NC has said that participants will be offered hygienic fare tested by a medical team.
The party has estimated the cost of the general convention at Rs 50 million, of which Rs 10 million is for accommodation and meals.
Leaders’ say on general convention
We have two major responsibilities-- solving the crisis our country is lately undergoing through and transforming the party to fit in the changed context. Our general convention will adopt the policy and elect the leadership accordingly.
– Ram Chandra Paudel, Nepali Congress acting president
NC will resolve all the existing political problems in the country including provincial demarcation disputes right after this general convention along with implementation the new constitution.
– Sher Bahadur Deuba, senior leader
NC has always played a leading role while directing the national political course and now NC will play leading role on implementation of the constitution by electing a democratic leadership through this general convention.
– Prakash Man Singh, general secretary
Our party will conclude this general convention with a resolution that will be able to resolve the challenges in the country ideologically, politically and organizationally.
– Krishna Prasad Sitaula, general secretary