The Election Commission today decided to give CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre 15 days to petition for party unity.

The EC issued a press release saying if the two parties wanted unification, they should apply for the same with the decisions of their central committees.

The Supreme Court had on Sunday nullified their unification saying that the unified party's name - Nepal Communist Party (NCP) - mimicked the name of Rishi Ram Kattel-led Nepal Communist Party.

The poll panel also decided to give 15 days to Gopal Kirati, who has registered CPN-MC under his name, and Sandhya Tiwari, who has registered CPN-UML under her name, to come with new names of their outfits within 15 days. The EC said it could not allow them to have the same name as the erstwhile CPN-UML and CPN- MC had been revived by the Supreme Court.

The EC also decided to write to the Parliament and provincial assemblies to treat CPN- UML and CPN-MC as two different parties.

CPN-MC Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the SC and the EC should not tell the parties to unify and if his party deemed it necessary to unify with the UML then it would go for that on its own.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 10, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.