UML, CPN-MC dwell on sharing posts

  • Second-rung leaders have proposed party chair for CPN-MC if PM is from UML

Kathmandu, December 31

The left alliance is discussing a proposal floated by its second-rung leaders which states that the two constituents of the alliance — the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre — will share the posts of president, House speaker, prime minister and chairperson of the unified party.

According to the proposal, if the UML takes the PM’s post, the post of party chair will go to CPN-MC. Posts of the president and the speaker will also be shared in a similar manner, according to CPN-MC leader Devendra Poudel, who is actively involved in talks on government formation and unification of the two parties.

“We have four ex-prime ministers, who should be given respectable roles,” he said. “We have presented our proposal to the leadership of both the parties.”

However, the sharing of aforementioned posts among the two parties is likely to face some difficulties, given the number of aspirants.

While UML Chairman Oli wants President Bidhya Devi Bhandari to continue as the head of state, former prime minister Jhalanath Khanal has been lobbying within the party to become the president, according to sources. It is learnt that UML leaders Bam Dev Gautam and Lal Babu Pandit have also expressed their desire to become president.

Another former prime minister from the UML, Madhav Kumar Nepal, however, does not want to hold the ceremonial post, but wants an active role in the party, a source told THT.

If the CPN-MC gets the president’s post, it might propose either Amik Sherchan or Ram Bahadur Thapa to be the head of state. But according to a source, Thapa wants to be in active politics for some more time.

“Oli and Dahal are holding discussions on ideological aspects, rather than technical, on party unification and government formation,” Dahal’s Personal Secretary Jokha Bahadur Mahara told THT.

Oli and Dahal had met at the latter’s residence in Khumaltar, Lalitpur, on Friday, to discuss party unification and post sharing.

“The two top leaders are trying to pacify factions within both the parties, so the unification is taking some time,” said a left alliance leader. “We should have common ideological agenda for the new unified party. We should be guided by the constitution, which envisions socialism-oriented society.”

Paudel said the second-rung leaders were playing facilitating role to help the top leaders bring together two big parties with some ideological differences.

“We should be ready to make any sacrifice for the sake of unification of the two parties. If we focus only on individual roles, it will jeopardise the whole unification process,” he said.