Nepal-Khanal faction says rescind March 12 decision, Oli refuses to oblige


Leaders of the CPN-UML faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal today met leaders of the faction led by party Chair and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in an attempt to reconcile their differences, but failed to do so.

The bone of contention is the March 12 decision taken by Oli that divested leaders close to Nepal and Khanal of key responsibilities in the party. The Nepal-Khanal faction wants Oli to rescind the decision, but Oli is sticking to his guns.

Emerging from the meeting today, Nepal told mediapersons that his faction told Oli to rescind his March 12 decision and restore the party structure that existed before the UML's merger with the CPN-Maoist Centre.

Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel, who is close to Oli, said that both sides had started talks about strengthening the party and moving ahead unitedly.

When asked to comment on the Nepal-Khanal faction's contention that the establishment faction's meeting held on March 12 was invalid, Pokharel said that even the Nepal-Khanal faction had held a meeting in Aryal Hotel. He also pointed to their proposed national cadres meeting scheduled for March 20.

Deputy parliamentary party leader Subas Chandra Nembang told THT that differences between the two factions could not be resolved today.

He said the establishment faction told the rival faction that the Supreme Court's decision to nullify the unification between the UML and the CPN-MC was an opportunity to take the party forward unitedly.

A leader from the establishment faction told THT that the Nepal-Khanal faction kept questioning the legality of the party's March 12 decision, but the establishment faction kept arguing that the meeting held to take that decision was valid. The establishment faction also raised the Nepal-Khanal faction's factional meetings and their continuous discussions with Pushpa Kamal Dahal and other leaders of the CPN-MC.

The Nepal-Khanal faction had written a letter to the Election Commission yesterday urging it not to implement the decisions taken by the establishment faction led by Oli. They have argued that the amendment made to the party's statute by the Oli-faction was illegal. They stated that as per the party's statute, its provisions could be amended only by the party's General Convention or Statute Amendment Council.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 16, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.