Explainer | Nepal’s largest communist party gears up for its National Congress. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

The National Congress is likely to be a test of strength for the country’s largest communist force, CPN (UML), which endured a split recently.

Nishan Khatiwada

  • Read Time 4 min.

Nepal’s largest communist party is gearing up for its National Congress, slated to start on November 26.

According to the party statute, the conventions and National Congress will be conducted to form different committees. And the election will be conducted through democratic procedures.

“All the committees will be inclusive, with 33 percent of women’s participation. Even women’s participation should be of inclusive nature,” the statute notes.

On October 31, UML’s Intra Party Directives issued a statement about a change in the modality of the selection of the representatives. Previously, there was a provision that three representatives each would be selected from each constituency for 1500 party members. The 14th directive mandates that the representatives would be selected for 1200 party members.

According to the updated statute of the party, the central committee will constitute 225 members, including 15 senior positions—a chair, senior vice chair, four vice-chairs, a general secretary, a deputy general secretary and seven secretaries. The National Congress, generally held every five years, elects the central committee of the party. 

The tenth National Congress of the party is scheduled for November 26-28. Among the central committee members, 98 will be elected from the open category, 66 from inclusion and 46 based on geography. Similarly, the convention also selects a 15-member strong Discipline Committee and Central Account Committee.

Currently, CPN-UML has a total of 728, 000 active members. The National Congress representatives will be chosen in three ways: ex-officio, elected and nominated. 

The province and local committees of the party have the following structural pattern and names.

  1. Province Committee
  2. Province Convention Representatives Council
  3. District Committee
  4. District Convention Representatives Council
  5. Palika/Ilaka Committee
  6. Palika/Ilaka Convention Representatives Council
  7. Ward/Branch Committee
  8. Ward/Branch Convention Representatives Council
  9. Tole/Preliminary Committee
  10. Tole/Preliminary Convention Representatives Council

Province convention

The province committee organizes the province convention every four years. The representatives to take part in the province convention will be province committee officials and members, including 15 representatives elected from among the Advisory Council members and officials; representatives elected from the party members as set by the Province Committee; and representatives nominated from the Province Committee not more than five percent of the elected representatives.

The province convention conducts the elections of the province committee with a chair, a vice-chair, a secretary, two deputy secretaries, and the number of members not more than what is mentioned in Sub Article 3 of the party statute. The district committee chairman under the province will be an ex-officio member of the province committee. 

District convention

The district committee organizes the convention every three years generally. The representatives to take part in the province convention will be district committee officials and members, 15 representatives elected from among the Advisory Council members including officials, representatives elected from the party members as set by the District Committee, and representatives nominated from District Committee not more than five percent of the elected representatives.

The district convention conducts the election of the district committee with a chair, a vice-chair, a secretary, two deputy secretaries, and the number of members not more than what is mentioned in Sub Article 3. The Palika/Ilaka committee chairman under the province will be an ex-officio member of the district committee.

Palika/Ilaka convention

The Palika/Ilaka committee organizes the respective convention every three years generally, the party statute states. The representatives to take part in the Palika/Ilaka convention will be Palika/Ilaka committee members and Advisory officials and members, and representatives elected from the party members as set by the Palika/Ilaka Committee and representatives nominated from Palika/Ilaka Committee not more than 5% of the elected representatives.  

The Palika/Ilaka convention conducts the election of the Palika/Ilaka committee with a chair, a vice-chair, a secretary, two deputy secretaries, and the number of members not more than mentioned in Sub Article 3. The Ward/Brach committee chairman under the Palika/Ilaka will be an ex-officio member of the committee. 

Ward/Branch Convention

The Ward/Branch committee will organize the respective convention every three years generally. The representatives to take part in the Ward/Branch convention will be Ward/Branch committee and Advisory officials and members, representatives elected from the party members as set by the Ward/Branch Committee and representatives nominated from Ward/Branch Committee not more than five percent of the elected representatives.

The Ward/Branch convention conducts the election of the Ward/Branch committee with a chair, a vice-chair, a secretary, two deputy secretaries, and the number of members not more than mentioned in Sub Article 3. The Tole/Preliminary committee chairman under the Ward/Branch will be an ex-officio member of the Ward/Branch committee.

Tole/Preliminary Convention

The Tole/Preliminary committee will organize the respective convention every two years generally. All the members belonging to the working area of the Tole/Preliminary Committee will be the representatives for the Tole/Preliminary convention. 

The Tole/Preliminary committee will conduct the election of the Tole/Preliminary committee with a chair, a vice-chair, a secretary, two deputy secretaries, and other members (constituting a total of 21-member committee including officials).

National Congress representatives

Officials and members of Central Committee, Central Disciplinary Commission, Central Audit Commission, and Central Election Commission will be ex-officio representatives for the National Congress. 

The Central Advisory Council chair will be the ex-officio member of the Standing Committee and the organizer. So out of other official members of the Council, 15 will be the representatives of the National Congress. Other members will take part in the National Congress but will not have voting rights. 

According to the updated statute of the party, the central committee will constitute 225 members, including 15 senior positions—a chair, senior vice chair, four vice-chairs, a general secretary, a deputy general secretary and seven secretaries.

Out of province and similar committee officials and members, 5 will be elected as the representatives for the Convention including at least 2 women. Similarly, out of 1200 party members under the HoR constituencies, 3 will be elected as the representatives including one woman. If the constituency has more than 1200 members, one representative will be added for every additional 800 members. While electing representatives this way, one should be a woman in every three representatives.

Similarly, out of 1200 party members under special districts (committees similar to district level) within the country, 3 will be elected including one woman. For every additional 800 members, one representative will be added. While electing representatives this way, one should be a woman in every three representatives.

Out of 500 Dalit members under geographical districts, one will be chosen as the Convention representative. For every additional 500 members, one representative will be added. While electing representatives this way, one should be a woman in every three representatives. 

Out of the Labor Party members under the geographical province, 7 representatives will be elected, including 3 women. From the party members of India, America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Gulf and Oceana, 5 representatives each will be elected, including two women.

Five representatives will be elected including two women from among the party members under the Central Department and Central Office of the party. From the 22 Janabargiya Sangathan (or the party’s grassroot institutions), 5 representatives each will be elected including two women. Similarly, among the number of representatives chosen (elected) from all around, 5% will be nominated by the Central Committee of the party.

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