EC writes to PM Oli, Dahal factions on legitimacy claims

Kathmandu, January 3

The Election Commission has written separate letters to the two chairpersons of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal on the party’s legitimacy issue.

Both the chairs have claimed that the name and the election symbol (Sun) belongs to their factions.

The EC, as per its mandatory rule to notify, has written letters to the two leaders of the two factions in a bid to resolve the issue. The two separate letters, with 95 per cent of text similar, has asked Dahal to submit proofs about the faction’s legitimacy within seven days. The same letter has only notified Oli about the rule without notifying the deadline for submitting the report. The party suffered a split after PM Oli recommended dissolution of the House of Representatives on December 20, which was immediately approved by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari the same day.

The EC, in letters issued to Oli and Dahal, has said that they have received two separate letters from the same party with similar letter pads and stamp on January 2. The letter is based on two separate meetings held by Dahal’s faction on December 21 and 23, and Oli’s faction on December 20. Both factions had informed the constitutional body about the central committee meetings the next day. Both the sides claimed that the central committee meeting they held was the legitimate committee.

The commission has stated that their authority to resolve problems has been provided to them as per Section 43 and 44 of Chapter 9 of the Political Parties Act 2017.

The Dahal-led faction has been claiming legitimacy over the party stating the majority of central committee members are on its side. While Oli’s side has been claiming that since the first chairman and the general secretary of the party is on its side, the Dahal-Nepal faction’s claim is illegitimate.

The commission also stated that the documents received from both factions did not mention Chapter 9 of the Political Parties Act 2017, under which the dispute could be settled.