Nepal | July 09, 2020

NCP unification process stuck as deadline looms

Jagdishor Panday
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Kathmandu, April 15

Only a week is left for the deadline of the unification of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) to expire, but senior leaders have not been able to reach consensus on unity of lower-level committees.

The two co-chairs of the party, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, have been publicly saying that the party unification process would be wrapped up by April 22, the day the erstwhile Communist Party was formed. But as of today senior leaders of the party have not been able to finalise leaders of district committees and departments and give concrete shape to sister organisations, leaving many wondering whether unification process could be completed by Monday.

The NCP, which was formed following the merger of CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre, has tentatively agreed to provide 45 district-level leadership positions to members of the erstwhile UML and remaining 32 to members of the erstwhile Maoist Centre. Members of the erstwhile Maoist Centre, headed by Dahal, have more or less agreed on who should assume district-level leadership positions. However, the problem is with members of the erstwhile UML, as factions led by PM Oli and former PM Madhav Kumar Nepal have remained steadfast on their conditions.

The Nepal faction has been saying that district-level leaders should be appointed on the basis of ‘seniority and certain principles’, but Oli faction has been saying that ‘deserving candidates’ should be appointed to those posts. This is the bone of contention.

To resolve this issue, Oli and Dahal, along with NCP General Secretary Bishnu Poudel and Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, went to Chandragiri Hills Resort on Thursday and stayed overnight. The retreat meeting was held after a task force formed under Thapa on December 20 to complete the unification process was dissolved on February 22 after it could not submit its report. Since the dissolution of the task force, the two co-chairs have taken up the responsibility of completing the party unification process.

Today, the two co-chairs of the party held talks with Nepal at the PM’s residence twice, once in the morning and then in the evening.

However, neither Oli nor Nepal showed any sign of flexibility.

“We hope the process will be completed soon,” said Rajan Bhattarai, PM Oli’s foreign affairs adviser who is also a central committee member of the NCP.

“Nepal has been saying certain principles should be followed while appointing people to leadership positions of the party’s district committees. But Oli’s faction wants to pick those leaders randomly,” said Birodh Khatiwada, NCP central committee member, who belongs to the Nepal faction.

“If this issue is resolved, the party unification process can be wrapped up immediately because then the only major thing left to do will be the formation of the party’s politburo committee.”

 


A version of this article appears in print on April 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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