Prospects becoming slimmer

Kathmandu February 10

CPN-UML is unwilling to leave three key posts — president, prime minister and chairman of the unified party — for the CPN Maoist Centre, thereby, obstructing unification of the parties.

UML wants to form the new government as soon as possible, while the CPN-MC is trying to settle issues related to unification of the two parties before forming the new government.

“Now there is very little chance of unification because the UML does not want to share any of the three key posts — president, prime minister or chairman of the unified party — with the Maoist Centre,” a CPN-MC leader told THT.  The leader said that the UML wanted to break the unity process. “I have my doubts the new government will be of the left alliance or another coalition,” he added. According to him UML and CPN-Maoist come from different ideological backgrounds and there should be respectable unity, not surrender for one side.

Speaking to a TV network, Dahal said he had told Oli that since he was senior to him in terms of age, he was free to choose whatever post — PM or party chair. Dahal also said he was worried the left alliance would be at a risk if unification did not happen.

Dahal has told Oli to settle unification issues before forming the government.

As per the UML’s allocation, CPN-MC should accept the post of Parliament speaker, vice-president and co-chair of the unified party. UML leaders have also said that the CPN-MC chair could contest the party’s election and win the party’s chairmanship.

“How can we be sure Dahal will be elected the party’s chair in the party’s General Convention? If anybody says Dahal can be elected by the General Convention, then it is only an empty assurance. We cannot accept such argument,” the CPN-MC leader added.

UML Chair KP SharmaOli and CPN-MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal had called the Party Unification Coordination Committee meeting yesterday, but that did not happen.

Dahal and senior leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa had gone to the UML Parliamentary Party office at Singha Durbar for the meeting,  but UML leaders did now show up. “CPN-MC leaders felt snubbed,” the CPN-MC source said.

It was only when Dahal phoned Oli that he came to know the meeting had been postponed as UML leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal were out of Kathmandu. Both sides agreed to hold a meeting tomorrow, but UML leaders told THT that there was very slim chance that the meeting would be held tomorrow as the UML Standing Committee meeting had been scheduled for the day.

Dahal is returning to Kathmandu from Chitwan tomorrow for the meeting.

Before elections, the UML and CPN-MC shared seats on a 60:40 ratio but after the election the ratio of power sharing was 70:30 in the provincial level.

Sources said the UML would propose the same ratio for power sharing at the centre as well.

According to UML Secretary Pradip Gyawali, party unity process may not be completed before formation of the new government. “There is slim chance of resolving all of the unification issues before the government is formed,” Gyawali told THT. He said some complication might arise in the final phase of unification but that would be managed.