Temporary reprieve for Oli


Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who has been facing the heat from the rival faction of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), got a temporary reprieve today, as the party’s Standing Committee ended this afternoon after passing a condolence message on the death of NCP central member Kaman Singh Lama. Lama succumbed to COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The next meeting of the party’s Standing Committee has been scheduled for 1:00pm on December 16. Standing Committee member Yubaraj Gyawali said the party body did not discuss any other agenda after paying homage to Lama, who was a senior communist leader and also a former member of Parliament.

According to PM’s Press Adviser Surya Thapa, both chairmen of the party — Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal — attended the meeting held at the PM’s official residence in Baluwatar.

The party’s last Standing Committee meeting was held on December 6 at the party’s central office in Dhumbarahi. Dahal’s 19- page proposal levelling serious allegations against Oli and the PM’s 38-page rebuttal were presented and discussed at the meeting.

The Standing Committee has to take a decision on the two documents.

The nine-member Secretariat of the NCP had failed to decide on the two documents, following which both the documents were sent to the Standing Committee. Gyawali said the Standing Committee would discuss both the documents and take a call. “The Standing Committee will try to forge consensus, but if it fails to do so, it will take a decision on the basis of majority,” he said.

Consensus can be forged only after the PM agrees to step down as PM or party co-chair, he added.

He said if the Standing Committee took a decision on the basis of majority then the issue would be referred to the Central Committee for endorsement. Asked if the Standing Committee would form a task force again to resolve the intra-party feud, Gyawali ruled that out.

A few months ago, when the intra-party feud deepened in the ruling party, the Standing Committee had formed a task force that suggested giving the PM a free hand on day to day affairs and the party’s full executive powers to Dahal. The recommendation was later endorsed by the Standing Committee.