Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
NC elections like "General Election"

Despite being alone in the current crisis, PM Koirala was able to have his way and bring the party back to a state of normality. A meeting between the two senior leaders proved that issues, like one man-one post and the prime minister not standing for party presidentship, were swept under the carpet. By fulfilling some of the demands of Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Koirala felt that he had nothing to lose. The present crisis in the party has now been resolved.

The Central Working Committee meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday was held in a congenial atmosphere. Bhattarai and other CWC members have given the PM the liberty of reshuffling the CWC and the Cabinet after returning from New York and at his own convenience. This means that the re-shuffling has been postponed for at least four weeks. Members of the CWC said that the meeting was very successful, very frank and open, had no hidden agendas and the only issue concerning them was how to make the 10th party convention more open and democratic.

The result was that the convention was postponed by three months, which fulfilled the purpose of Koirala's camp because the earlier date gave them a short period of only six weeks and the national festivals are also due soon. Bhattarai's second demand was postponing the convention by five months and the three-month compromise satisfied them both to a certain extent. Bhattarai's camp was satisfied that an election committee would be formed although they had not asked for it. It is believed that a new trend would be established by including professionals not directly connected with the party in the committee.

All issues concerning the party convention were accepted. The dissatisfied groups had only been harping on the issue of how to make the convention fair, democratic and non-controversial. At this point Bhattarai was getting fed up as no solution was in sight. Finally Mahesh Acharya came up with a proposal that everyone accepted. Acharya's proposal was that the names of active members (voters) would be published three months before the party convention. Protests and counter protests could be lodged with the district committees and if not accepted by them, then it could be lodged with the central office and the central office could then give its decision.

This means that the process would be identical to the process of the general election. In earlier conventions the voters' lists used to be published just a few hours before the party election. This time the names of the voters will be published by the center before 10 September and by the district committee by the end of the month. To ensure fairness and party democracy, the central committee will be able to accept any protest and pass judgement if the
district committees do not accept it. Earlier district committees had final authority to adjudicate.

Although this proposal was accepted, Sher Bahadur Deuba was still doubtful about the fairness and evenhandedness of the central committee. He wanted the protest to be discussed by all the members of the central committee before a
decision is reached. Bhattarai got angry at Deuba for objecting and a conversation followed which went like this: Bhattarai: Deubaji, do you know which convention is going to take place? Deuba:

The 10th. Bhattarai: That means the 9th convention was also held, wasn't it?
Deuba: Yes. Bhattarai: Then the 10th convention will be held in the same way as the 9th. The central committee will have final authority. You cannot doubt the fairness of the protests lodged. How can the office be run if all the applications are sent to each and every central committee member's doorstep? If you want to, I will even request the party president to make sure that you are the person who is in charge of the registration desk and receive all the complaints. You claim to be the first leader of the younger generation but speak andact like a student leader. The meeting ended with Bhattarai declaring that from now on he would not stand for election to any post, either party or government.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)