KATHMANDU, Nov 1: Nepali Congress (NC) top leaders continue to be sharply divided on whether to adopt collective leadership in the party.
The differences among the party´s office bearers over the issue during the Mahasamiti meeting on Sunday indicated that senior leaders are deeply polarized over the issue. Those advocating collective leadership are for directly electing the office bearers of the party through general convention.
While party president Girija Prasad Koirala and acting president Sushil Koirala pointed out the need to uphold presidential system in the party, vice presidents Prakash Man Singh and Ram Chandra Poudel and joint general secretary Arjun Narsingh KC stressed on the need to embrace collective leadership. On the other hand, senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba appears to be in favor of a ´middle path´.
Inaugurating the party´s Mahasamiti meeting, president Koirala argued that the party needed a powerful president to run it smoothly. "We should not deviate from the presidential system. I expect you to advocate the same," he said.
Acting president Sushil Koirala also argued the same in the meeting and stated that collective leadership would weaken the president.
However, Singh, Poudel and KC threw their lot against the idea of maintaining status quo on leadership issue.
"Time has come not just to trust on party president but to trust on general convention representatives at village level," Singh said, urging the Mahasamiti meeting to take a decision in favor of collective leadership. He also suggested electing all office bearers of the party.
Singh said presidential system was solely to be blamed for the humiliating defeat of the party in CA election. KC said the party no longer can run with single thought and traditional manner.
Addressing the function, senior leader Deuba, vice presidents Gopal Man Shrestha and Poudel and general secretary Bimalendra Nidhi said the Mahasamiti should be able to give a message of unity in the party.
Maoists called to call off stir
Addressing the Mahasamiti meeting, NC chair GP Koirala urged the Maoists to withdraw all protests and sit for dialogues. Koirala said he would take initiatives to resume dialogues with the Maoists. "I appeal to Prachanda to withdraw their protests," he said. Stating that a high-level political mechanism was needed to iron out differences among the parties, Koirala claimed that Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal was also positive about the idea.
The Mahasamiti also passed a proposal urging the Maoists to withdraw the protests and resolve their demand through dialogues and consensus.
NC for hiring in NA
The NC has argued that recruiting personnel in the vacant positions in the army does not violate the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
In a political proposal presented during the Mahasamiti meeting, party vice president Ram Chandra Poudel stated that meeting basic requirements of the army and filling the vacant posts is never against the CPA.
Poudel has alleged that the Maoists continue to take the national army as their enemy. "The Maoists are bent on their strategy to ´capture´ [the state] by weakening the national army," states the paper.
General Secretary Bimalendra Nidhi also presented a proposal in Sunday´s meeting. The Mahasamiti is likely to pass both the proposals on Monday.