FSU polls two months away, merger of NCP student wings still uncertain

Published On: January 8, 2019 05:30 AM NPT By: Biken K Dawadi

KATHMANDU, Jan 8: With less than two months left for the election of the Free Students Union (FSU) to take place, the merger of the student unions of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is still uncertain.

It has been more than seven months since it was announced that the sister wings of the erstwhile Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) would be merged following the merger of the two political parties.

All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU)-Revolutionary, the student wing of Maoist Center, has been demanding the leadership of the merged entity arguing that the chairperson of ANNFSU, the student wing of CPN-UML, Nabina Lama, has been elected as a Member of Parliament in the 2017 general elections.

However, ANNFSU has called for a lower-level integration of the two student unions before the selection of the leadership.

ANNFSU leaders have claimed that the two student unions will have completed their merger by the time of election and that the two unions will work hand in hand during the election campaign.

ANNFSU Secretary RC Lamichhane claimed that the two student wings will be merged before the FSU polls. 

“We are very confident that the merger will be completed by the time of election,” he said, adding, “We will file the candidacy of leaders from both the student unions.” 

The TU Student Welfare and Sports Directorate (TUSWSD) issued a notice on Monday prompting all of the constituent campuses of TU in and out of the Valley to start preparations for the polls being be held after two years. The last election of the FSU had taken place on March 1, 2017. 

Lamichhane told Republica that the election has been set for February 26, 2019, and that the leaders and cadres of the student unions are all prepared for the election. 

The notice issued by the TUSWSD states that the election of the student body should be held every two years. The last FSU polls prior to the 2017 polls had taken place in 2009, when it took eight years for a change in leadership of the student body. The 2017 FSU elections had brought some major changes in the election system of the FSU. The age bar for the election candidates was set at 28 years while it was also decided to adopt the mixed electoral system. 

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