HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The agitating student unions affiliated to various political parties finally agreed today on a mixed electoral system for the upcoming Free Students’ Union (FSU) election.
Though the tenure of FSU expired on March 20‚ 2011‚ Tribhuvan University (TU) had not been able to announce the poll date due to lack of consensus among student unions on the electoral system.
The university had been meeting all student unions for the past few days to take them into confidence on the electoral system and other issues related to the FSU poll.
“Though we were lobbying for proportionate electoral system earlier‚ we have now agreed to mixed electoral system considering the existing situation‚” said Himal Sharma‚ president‚ All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary aligned to UCPN-Maoist‚ today.
Likewise‚ President of CPN-UML aligned All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU) Madhav Dhungel said they were flexible on the electoral system now. “We have no problem if TU opts for mixed electoral system‚” he said.
U P Lamichhane‚ Spokesperson for the Nepali Congress aligned Nepal Students’ Union (NSU) said they were also ready to leave their stance on the FSU poll. He said‚ “Though our choice is First Past the Post (FPTP)‚ we are ready to follow the mixed system respecting the feelings of other student unions.”
Prof Guna Nidhi Neupane‚ TU rector said the student unions have almost reached consensus on the mixed system. “Now we can assure that the FSU poll will be held by mid-April‚” he said.
Meanwhile‚ Ganga Bahadur Thapa‚ chief‚ Student Welfare and Sports Section said they had proposed the mixed electoral system with minimum 11-member FSU and maximum 25-member FSU size. b“Though we have agreed to the mixed electoral system‚ the number of members in FSU is still a subject of debate between student unions‚” Thapa said.
According to NSU‚ the FSU will have minimum 11 to 25 members‚ while Sharma said FSU will have minimum 11 to 17 members.
He said they also proposed inviting TU toppers- male and female each as ex-officio members of FSU and 30 years age bar as eligibility criteria for contesting the FSU poll.
Though all unions have welcomed the decision to have TU toppers in FSU‚ they are still debating the age bar issue. Lamichhane said if the TU calendar became regular‚ there would be no problem in implementing the age bar.