Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Nepal Students' Union election once again been shrouded in uncertainty

Posted by Anup Baral August 9th, 2016 :
The Nepal Students’ Union election has once again been shrouded in uncertainty after the dispute regarding representatives in some districts prevented a closed-door session of the union’s 11th General Convention scheduled on Monday. The student wing of the Nepali Congress had to postpone the closed-door session for Tuesday after the union failed to reach a consensus in selecting representatives from the 11 disputed districts, NSU spokesperson UP Lamichhane. The NSU conclave began at Bhrikutimandap in the Capital on Sunday, almost after a decade since the previous gathering. The NSU had planned to announce official panels on Monday evening and hold elections on Tuesday. Student leaders claimed that the tendency to “shy away from elections but hoping to get picked as the union’s president through the leadership’s pocket” was the main obstacle in resolving the dispute in some districts. “Deep division that surfaced in the mother party’s general convention back in March has had a trickle-down effect on the party’s sister organisation,” said a student leader aspiring to be an NSU office bearer, requesting anonymity.
Similar to the run-up to the NC’s conclave, the NSU also has three distinct factions—the establishment group, the faction led by senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel and a third group from the Krishna Prasad Sitaula camp. Nain Singh Mahar and Jit Jung Basnet are said to be the front runners from the establishment side, Manoj Acharya and Deepak Bhattarai appear to be heading the charge from the Poudel-led faction, while Kundan Kafle is almost certain to stand from the third faction. The establishment and the Poudel groups are said to be under immense pressure to “pick their team and show a united face” while going for the elections. Kafle’s aides have been on a hunger strike since last week, claiming that a majority of the elected representatives were not students. Before attending the conclave on Monday, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba had paid a visit to Kafle’s aides and “assured them of settling their concerns before polls.” During the inauguration, Deuba had urged student leaders to settle their disputes by themselves in consensus, saying: “A real leader is a leader who can carry along everyone together.”

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