Election Commission refuses to recognize Resham Chaudhary as Nagarik Unmukti Party’s chair

The election body has recognized Chaudhary’s wife Ranjeeta Shrestha as the party chair.   

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The Election Commission (EC) refused to recognize Resham Chaudhary as the chairperson of the Nagarik Unmukti Party (NUP) on Thursday. The election body declared his wife, Ranjeeta Shrestha, as the party chairperson.

Chaudhary, a former lawmaker convicted of the 2015 Tikapur massacre, was elected as the chairperson of the Nagarik Unmukti Party (NUP) in January. Chaudhary was unanimously elected as the chairman at the party’s first general convention held in Tikapur of Kailali, where he was the sole candidate. The party then asked the Commission to update the party’s details with Chaudhary’s election as chairman.

However, two separate complaints were filed at the Commission on January 14 and January 17, stating that Chaudhary had been convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment and that he had been released after being granted presidential pardon.

Chaudhary had founded the NUP while serving a life sentence in prison before the November 2022 polls.

The NUP currently holds four seats in the House of Representatives and a total of 12 seats across various provincial assemblies. It maintains a strong presence in Sudurpaschim, Lumbini, and Madhesh provinces, with seven, four, and one seat, respectively.

The party’s registration with the Election Commission was facilitated by Chaudhary’s wife, Ranjeeta Shrestha Chaudhary, who held the position of party chair until Chaudhary’s election as chairman.

Ranjeeta Shrestha served as the Minister for Land Reform and Management in the federal government in the coalition government of the Nepali Congress, CPN (Maoist Center), Nagrik Unmukti Party, CPN (Unified Socialist), among other fringe parties.

Resham Chaudhary was released from Dillibazar prison on May 28, 2023, after President Ram Chandra Paudel granted him a pardon on the occasion of Republic Day.