Kathmandu, April 15
The much anticipated unity between the CPN-UML and CPN-MC is not likely to happen on April 22 as recommended by the two task forces of the left alliance. The Party Unification Coordination Committee had also reached understanding that the two parties should unify on April 22.
The two task forces led by UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and CPN-MC leader Ram Bahadur Thapa had suggested that the parties should unite on April 22 to coincide with the birth date of late Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin.
Senior CPN-MC leader Mani Thapa said he saw no chance of the two parties uniting on April 22. Thapa, who is in-charge of Young Communist League — a youth wing of CPN-MC — met party Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal today and urged him to seek equal participation of the party in the unified party’s structures.
CPN-MC sources said Nepal met Dahal today at the latter’s residence, but Dahal told Nepal there were some unresolved issues and he wanted to discuss them with Prime Minister and CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli. Dahal and Oli have not discussed unification issues in the last 10 days. Dahal today went to Sukute, Sindhupalchok, for a family gathering and will return to the capital tomorrow. Dahal has avoided meeting Oli for the last 10 days citing illness, but he travelled to Chitwan.
The most serious issue is the percentage of representation of CPN-MC leaders in the unified party’s structures. The CPN-MC wants 50/50 participation, but UML leaders are not ready for that. They say the CPN-MC should not demand more than the ratio of seats it won in elections. The CPN-MC won around 35 per cent of the total seats allocated between it and the CPN-UML.
The parties have not resolved two other issues. The CPN-MC wants to mention ‘people’s war’ in the preamble of the unified party’s statute, but the UML does not agree. They have also not decided on the election symbol of the unified party.
A CPN-MC source said a rift had surfaced between Oli and Dahal with the former trying to impose his decisions.
Meanwhile, YCL leaders told Dahal that unification could take place only when the UML accepted the spirit of the ‘people’s war’ and not just the phrasing of ‘people’s war’ in the preamble of the party’s statute.
“I will not compromise. Don’t doubt my intention,” Mani Thapa quoted Dahal as telling YCL leaders.
The YCL leaders also told Dahal that the two leaders should hold one post out of two – the post of prime minister or the chair of the unified party.
YCL leaders also said UML was not taking unification seriously and therefore, the CPN-MC should discuss unity with party cadres from top to the lowest level. YCL leaders also told Dahal that documents the two parties discussed should be debated within the CPN-MC.
A version of this article appears in print on April 16, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.