‘CPN-UML,UCPN-M had power handover deal’

Kathmandu, May 8

Unified CPN-Maoist sources said that their party had reached a gentlemen’s agreement with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli whereby the latter agreed to hand over power to the UCPN-M after endorsement of the budget.

CPN-UML leaders, however, deny that there was any such agreement.

On May 5, the two parties struck a nine-point deal at midnight, which gave a new lease of life to the Oli-led government.

The UCPN-M, a major coalition partner in the Oli-led government, had said it would form a new government under its leadership with the support of Nepali Congress, but changed its mind after the UML was ready to hand over power after endorsing the budget.

Informed sources confirmed that after Prime Minister Oli refused to sign the three-point secret agreement wherein power handover after endorsement of budget was clearly stated.

UCPN-M sources claimed that after Prime Minister Oli refused to sign the secret deal they agreed to treat it as a gentlemen’s agreement.

The UCPN-M leaders had presented the three-point secret agreement, including power transfer after endorsement of the budget, to justify the efficacy of the left alliance by achieving social and economic transformation in a united manner and going together till the local elections.

The UML leaders, however, had urged the leaders not to reveal the secret deal claiming that could affect the government.

On the gentlemen’s agreement, the UML leaders have given contradictory views.

UML Vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam, who played a key role in negotiating with UCPN-M Chairman Dahal and convincing him, admitted that his party had reached a gentlemen’s agreement to hand over the prime minister’s position to Dahal, but he had not mentioned the time frame and therefore that would happen at an opportune time.

In contrast to Gautam’s statement, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Agni Kharel said there was no agreement besides what transpired while reaching the nine-point agreement.

He, however, said that Dahal could also become the new prime minister and UML would support him if necessary.