Nepal | August 12, 2020

Oli refuses to quit as PM, party co-chair

Leaders say problem will be resolved through consensus, but a plan to achieve it remains elusive

Himalayan News Service
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A crucial meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Secretariat held here today failed to reconcile differences between party Co-chair and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and the rival faction led by another Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.

Party Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha, who is also a member of the nine-member Secretariat, told THT that today’s meeting did not give any way out to the problems in the party. NCP is plagued by factional rift with the Dahal-Nepal faction pressing the PM to quit either the post of prime minister or party chair and PM Oli refusing to quit any of the two posts he holds.

Shrestha said both sides agreed to find solution to the problem on the basis of consensus, while other leaders discussed how consensus could be forged between the two sides.

Shrestha said the leaders would try to keep party unity intact, but also keep in mind the mandate people had given to the party in the general election. He did not elaborate.

When asked what happened to the party leaders’ demand that PM Oli should quit both the posts of prime minister and party co-chair, Shrestha said some leaders had asked the PM to quit both posts but that was not the agenda of the Standing Committee.

“However, the party will consider how the demands of those leaders can be addressed,” he added.

Shrestha said both party cochairs spoke of the need to resolve the dispute on the basis of consensus and party leaders were working on a plan to forge consensus. The party secretariat will also do homework to forge consensus.

The next meeting of the party’s Standing Committee scheduled for tomorrow will go as planned.

Earlier, the NCP had postponed its Standing Committee multiple times in order to help Oli and Dahal reconcile their differences.

PM Oli, who delivered his speech on the first day of the Standing Committee meeting in June, skipped the party body’s meeting or left the meeting after briefly attending the meeting to the consternation of Standing Committee members.

PM Oli, who has fallen into minority in all party bodies — the Secretariat, Standing Committee and Central Committee — recently accused India of hatching a plot to topple him.

He made this remark when majority of the Standing Committee members had asked him to step down accusing him of ignoring the party’s directives.

Dahal and Oli had held oneon-one meeting before the party Secretariat meeting today.

Party Co-chair Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal had, in their talks with PM Oli, asked him to step down.

Oli has, however, refused to quit any of the posts.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 19, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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