Oli, Dahal grappling with unity, govt formation

Kathmandu, February 3

CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal are under intense pressure to come up with a clear roadmap for power sharing and unification of the two parties.

The alliance has yet to hold concrete discussions on power sharing at the central government.

Oli and Dahal have to decide on the posts of president, vice-president, prime minister, speaker, deputy speaker and chairperson of the unified party as the date for forming the new government nears.

“We have been saying we should form a single parliamentary party and elect a single parliamentary leader for the PM’s post. We do not have any problem with unification before formation of the new government,” Dahal’s Private Secretary Jokha Bahadur Mahara told The Himalayan Times. “We will not break the alliance even if party unity does not happen before government formation.”

CPN-MC leaders have been saying that if Oli takes the PM’s post, Dahal should be made party chairman.

According to a left alliance leader, Oli and Dahal are taking time to decide due to crisis of confidence, ideological differences, role and responsibilities of leadership and impact of geopolitics.  “Geopolitics is also a decisive factor in Nepal in decision-making,” said the leader.

Sources say UML leaders close to Oli fear they might slip into minority in the central committee of the unified party if Dahal is made chairman. UML leaders fear that Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal and Bamdev Gautam could take Dahal’s side, so they are proposing that Dahal be made the party’s co-chairman.

Second-rung leaders of both parties are not in favour of unity if they lose their relevance. However, third-layer leaders want unity as they see their future in a unified party.

“The left alliance now cannot drop the idea of party unity given the alliance’s joint manifesto, common candidates, public commitment and election mandate. Unity should be on the basis of political agenda, but no serious discussion has been held on ideological issues,” CPN-MC’s third-layer leader Yubraj Chaulagai told THT.

UML Secretary Yogesh Bhattarai said, “We will forge consensus as we did during provincial and National Assembly elections.”