RPP, RJP announce merger process

KATHMANDU: The Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and Rastriya Janashakti Party (RJP) leaders today announced their unification process calling for a broader alliance between the ‘democratic’ and ‘patriotic forces’ to safeguard nationalism, national unity and national integrity.

Addressing a joint press conference here today, RPP president Pashupati Shumsher Rana and RJP president and former prime minister Surya Bahadur Thapa announced the unification process. The name proposed for the unified party is: Rastriya Shakti Prajatantra Party (RSPP).

Bishwobandhu Thapa, former pancha, who has been decided as the coordinator of the Unity Coordination Committee, read out a 11-point statement reasoning the cause of their unification process.

He said that the committee would coordinate the elections of all grassroots, regional and district committees of the parties. The committee will also coordinate the joint-general convention.

The leaders of both the sides have also agreed to form a joint-working committee in which presidents of the RPP and RJP would co-chair its meeting. SB Thapa and Rana said the name of the proposed unified party would be finalised later through a joint general convention.

The RJP boss said a bottom-up approach will be followed in the unification process to ensure democratic exercise within the party. “All party committees would be elected democratically and the elected representatives would be representing their committees in the general convention,” Thapa added.

“Our unity is a national requirement and it is not aimed at any other party or ideology,” Thapa told the mediapersons.

Asked whether they would make a working unity with the UCPN-Maoist, which has also raised voices for safeguarding nationalism and national interest, Thapa said, “We must welcome others as well if they do the same, though their voices are patchy.”

RPP president Rana said Constituent Assembly members of both the parties would be working in the House in tandem with the guideline set by the Joint Working Committee until the general convention.

RPP has eight members and RJP has three in the CA.

The former Panchas, who were at the helm of politics in the party-less Pachayat system, had formed the RPP following the restoration of democracy in 1990. Currently, the party of the former panchas has been divided into three factions, other being led by Kamal Thapa, after the royal takeover in 2005.

A joint-statement issued by Thapa and Rana said

that the major political stakeholders were not sensitive to the peace and

constitution-drafting processes and that there had been political apathy on the country’s deteriorating economic health.