FNCCI election postponed yet again amid COVID-19 fear

Published On: July 25, 2020 07:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Senior Vice President Candidate Dhakal registers note of dissent over decision to defer election

KATHMANDU, July 25: The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has decided to defer its general assembly yet again, citing the containment measures enforced by the government to stop the spread of coronavirus.

With the decision of the FNCCI to postpone its annual general assembly that was scheduled for the second week of August, the election fever that had started to grip the private sector is also likely to cool down until a new election date is announced.

The office bearers’ meeting held on Thursday decided to postpone its 54th Annual General Meeting and Election citing the government’s decision to prohibit all types of mass meetings, assemblies or gatherings as part of containment measures to combat COVID-19.

The meeting also decided to hold the annual general meeting and election within 15 days of the government approval for organizing public gathering or assembly. This decision leaves the election date of the umbrella organization of businesses in the country uncertain.

The 54th AGM and Election of the FNCCI was slated to be held between 10 and 11 August at Heritage Garden in Lalitpur.

The decision to postpone the election came days after the election timetable was published to elect the new executive committee of the FNCCI including senior vice president. The AGM will also pave the way for the current senior vice president Shekhar Golchha to take over the leadership of the FNCCI as its new president.

As the senior vice president is directly elected as the president of the FNCCI, Golchha, the current senior vice president, will succeed Bhawani Rana as the President of the organization.

This is not the first time that the 54th annual general assembly of the FNCCI got postponed. Earlier in March, the date of the AGM scheduled between April 10 and 11 was postponed until May 20 and 21, only to be deferred until the second week of August.

The election fever was already gripping the private sector. As the senior vice president is the president-in-waiting of the FNCCI, it is considered to be an election of the president for the next term. Two business leaders have jumped into the fray.

Chandra Prasad Dhakal, the current vice president representing Associate members, has already announced his candidacy for the post of senior vice president while Kishore Kumar Pradhan, another vice president, has also announced that he will contest the election for the senior vice president.

They have also announced their own panels for the executive committee comprising other vice-presidents, other office bearers and executive members. Both panels have also set up their election-centered offices and intensified their campaigns.


Meanwhile, FNCCI Vice President Chandra Prasad Dhakal along with another Vice President Umesh Lal Shrestha and Treasurer Nirak KC has registered their note of dissent on the decision of the office bearers’ meeting to postpone the election.

“We decided to register a note of dissent as we disagree that the office bearers’ level decision can make such an important decision like the postponing the AGM date. It should have been decided by an executive committee meeting,” Dhakal told Republica.

“Also, the organization had written a letter to the government seeking the approval for holding the AGM. Postponing the election date before the government responded to our request was also the reason we dissented with the decision,” he added.

However, those who stood in favor of postponing the AGM said that holding the assembly on the scheduled date is not only a violation of the government’s containment measures but also could be a recipe for a disaster during the pandemic.  

“The feeling of responsibility toward the fellow members has been nudging me more than the desire to assume the post. As the lockdown is eased, the moral question regarding the safety of bringing 1,000 business people from across the country to a single place has haunted me. But, it feels sad to see people giving it a different color,” Shekhar Golchha, senior vice president of the FNCCI, wrote in a tweet a day before the office bearers’ meeting that decided to postpone the election.

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