Nepal | March 30, 2020

Oli, Dahal try to break ice

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 26

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal discussed issues related to work division among party leaders, finalisation of political document and possible Cabinet reshuffle.

A source close to Dahal said Prime Mnister Oli had softened his stance on the political ideology issue today in his meeting with Dahal and said that they could amicably settle the issues after consulting party leaders.

Dahal had consulted his close confidants on June 23, a day after PM Oli proposed during the party’s Secretariat meeting that the politicial document be re-written, which Dahal interpreted as backtracking from the unification deal. The merger deal states that Marxism and Leninism should be the party’s ideology till the issue is settled by the next General Convention.

Dahal had assured leaders of the erstwhile CPN-Maoist Centre that the NCP would move forward as per the unity deal signed between the erstwhile CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre last year.

A source close to Dahal said that both co-chairs discussed briefly about possible reshuffle of the Cabinet. Dahal recently said that the Cabinet would be reshuffled after the passage of the new fiscal budget.

Ideological tension emerged after NCP leaders representing the then CPN-UML pressured Oli to carry ‘people’s multi-party democracy’ which was introduced by Madan Bhandari in the party’s political document.

A couple of months ago, deputy prime minister and member of the Central Secretariat Ishwor Pokharel had publicly said the new party should carry ‘people’s multi-party democracy’ as well. Pokharel’s statement provoked Dahal to reply that there should not be any ideology such as ‘people’s multi-party democracy’ or ‘21st century people’s democracy’.

A source close to PM Oli said that the two leaders discussed whether or not they should bar party leaders from holding two responsibilities. Senior leader of the party Madhav Kumar Nepal has been strongly advocating barring party leaders from holding two responsibilities which PM Oli has been opposing.

It was because of their difference on this issue that they could not settle the leaders’ work division during the party’s Secretariat meeting on Saturday.


A version of this article appears in print on June 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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