UML, CPN-MC bridge rift

Kathmandu, May 15

Following a month of hiatus, the process of unification between left alliance constituents — the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre — seems to have gathered some momentum, with alliance leaders claiming that a formal unification announcement will be made on May 21.

CPN-MC Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal today held meetings with senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and UML Deputy General Secretary Bishnu Poudel. Dahal and Nepal deliberated on ideological aspects, political document and statute of the unified party. According to a left alliance leader, the meetings were ‘positive’.

PM KP Sharma Oli also said publicly today that the two parties would soon announce unification. “I would like to invite journalists to Baluwatar, where they can see preparations for unification,” he said.

If the UML agrees to sign written agreement on understandings reached verbally, the unification will be announced on May 21, said a CPN-MC leader. Dahal has been seeking a written agreement with the UML on power sharing in the unified party, as well as the government.

Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Barshaman Pun said it was likely that a government of a single communist party would present the policies and programmes.

The Cabinet yesterday decided to present the policies and programmes in the Parliament on May 21.

The left alliance has already agreed on the name of the unified party — Nepal Communist Party — and its guiding principles — Marxism and Leninism. Prime Minister Oli’s secretariat said the unification was likely to be announced by May 21.

Pun, who is a senior CPN-MC leader, met Oli and Dahal yesterday.

Amid CPN-MC’s reservations over Pun’s non-inclusion in the remote inauguration of Arun III Hydropower Project during Indian PM Narendra Modi’s Nepal visit, Pun said Oli ‘admitted the mistake’ and also talked about the issue ‘thrice’ in yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.

He said Oli and Dahal had realised that the government would not be strong and effective if the two parties did not unite. Pun added that Oli and Dahal had the capability of sorting out contentious issues within a week if they held serious discussions. “The unification task forces have already submitted reports. There are no hurdles in unification,” he said.

The rift between the two left alliance constituents came to the fore after Oli and Nepal took a stand in February that the ideology of ‘People’s Multiparty Democracy’ could not be dropped. Earlier, the two parties had agreed that the UML’s ‘People’s Multiparty Democracy’ and the CPN-MC ‘People’s Democracy in 21st Century’ and ‘Maoism’ would be the guiding principles until the unified party’s general convention finalised the issue.

Broad understanding

  • Oli and Dahal will take turns to assume the posts of party chairman and prime minister
  • CPN-MC will have less than 50 per cent representation in the unified party’s central committee
  • The phrase ‘people’s war’ will be incorporated in the political document with a mention that it contributed to establishment of republic, inclusion, propositional representation and federalism