NCP splits 31 months after merger
KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 22
- Dahal-led faction removes Oli as party co-chair, replaces him with Madhav Kumar Nepal
- Oli’s faction removes Narayan Kaji Shrestha as party spokesperson, replaces him with Gyawali
- Adds 556 members to Central Committee, forms committee to hold general convention in Nov
The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) suffered a vertical split today, with the rival factions of the party led by the two chairmen claiming their faction to be the authentic NCP in separate central committee meetings held in the capital.
The faction led by Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal removed KP Sharma Oli from the post of party co-chair and unanimously nominated senior party leader Madhav Kumar Nepal as the new party co-chair.
NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said out of 445 Central Committee members, 315 were present in the faction meeting.
Dahal/Nepal faction condemned the dissolution of the HoR, terming it an unconstitutional, undemocratic, autocratic, regressive, and arbitrary act. It rejected the HoR dissolution and demanded immediate summoning of the new session of the Parliament.
Shrestha said the CC endorsed the agenda set by the Standing Committee and decided to remove Oli from the party chair for acting against the constitution, democracy, party unity and discipline by recommending dissolution of the HoR. The Dahal/Nepal faction also urged party leaders and cadres to unitedly move ahead to achieve the party’s goals.
Addressing the gathering, Dahal said their faction represented the NCP as it was ideologically committed to Marxism, Leninism, and socialism. He denounced the meeting in Baluwatar as an event of a faction that wanted to split the party.
According to Shrestha, Dahal also appealed to party cadres to help protect historical political gains and advance the cause of socialism.
Senior leader Jhalanath Khanal told party leaders and cadres to firmly stand in favour of the NCP.
Nepal said nobody should dream of reviving old parties.
Dahal/Nepal faction adopted a proposal appealing to all party leaders and cadres to remain united under the banner of the NCP.
The next CC meeting will be held on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Oli-led faction formed a general convention organising committee comprising 1,199 members and proposed to hold the party’s general convention on November 18-23. A meeting to be held on December 24 will finalise the date of the general convention.
Oli, who claimed that his faction represented the authentic NCP, added 556 members to the Central Committee, former speaker Subas Chandra Nembang told THT.
The Oli-led Central Committee meeting also removed Narayan Kaji Shrestha as party spokesperson, appointing Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali in his place. Addressing mediapersons after the meeting, Gyawali said HoR was dissolved and mid-term elections were announced, as elections alone could complete the party unification process.
Two senior leaders of the NCP and Secretariat members, Bamdev Gautam and Ram Bahadur Thapa, did not attend any faction’s meeting.
Nepal, Shrestha, and Khanal had gone to Gautam’s place, while Dahal had gone to Thapa’s residence, to convince the two senior leaders to join today’s CC meeting. Shrestha said Gautam told them that he was opposed to the dissolution of the HoR, but was exploring ways to keep party unity intact.
Shrestha claimed that Thapa assured Dahal of joining his faction. “I hope that Thapa joins us on Thursday,” he added.
Dahal/Nepal faction also nominated former speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara to the party’s Standing Committee.