Nepali Congress party time

All photos: Amit Machamasi

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba inaugurated the 14th general convention of the Nepali Congress (NC) amidst much fanfare in Bhrikuti Mandap on Friday. The four-day event will select 134 central committee members and 12 office bearers including the chair of the party. Nearly 5,000 delegates have flooded Kathmandu for the jamboree.

Five leaders including Deuba, Ram Chandra Paudel, Bimalendra Nidhi, Sherkar Koirala and Prakash Man Singh are vying for the top post. Ten others are running for the general secretary.

The voter list will be released on Saturday and the registration of candidates will be held on Sunday. Voting ends Tuesday. Prime Minister Deuba is widely expected to be re-elected as the party leader since his rivals are so divided.

The NC convention was rescheduled seven times before it got a go-ahead this week, hot in the tails of the main opposition UML and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), all of whom have their eyes already set on the 2023 polls.

K P Oli swept UML’s party polls in Chitwan two weeks ago while incumbent party chair of RPP Kamal Thapa was defeated by newbie Rajendra Lingden this week. Thapa then accused ex-king Gyanendra of sabotaging his candidacy.

Many expect the election campaign throughout 2022 to focus on secularism and monarchy.

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