Dahal puts Oli under pressure to seal unification deal before formation of new government

Kathmandu, February 8

CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal today held talks with CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and urged him to settle issues related to unification of the two parties before forming the new government.

Left alliance sources said in his one-on-one talk with Dahal, Oli was non-committal on whether or not the party unification would happen before formation of the government.

“The two parties have not squandered away the possibility of unification but they have not reached any substantial decision yet on the issue,” a left alliance source told THT. “Reaching a deal to forge an alliance is easier than sealing a deal for unification of the two parties.”

A source said the CPN-MC was focusing on unification before the formation of a new government mainly because it believed that unification would be easier if it happened before the formation of a new government. “Once a new government is formed, unification might get complicated,” the source added.

Oli is under pressure from the CPN-MC and rival factions of the UML to decide quickly on party unification.

Oli and Dahal held discussions today in Lalitpur and decided to make a clear roadmap for the political issues. They decided to hold a Party Unification Coordination Committee meeting tomorrow for clear roadmap on power sharing and unification of the two parties.

“Talks between the two leaders on power sharing have been positive,” Dahal’s Private Secretary Jokha Bahadur Mahara told THT. “The PUCC meeting will forge a future roadmap for unification and formation of a new government.” According to sources, the PUCC meeting may form a task force to iron out differences between the two parties on ideological and organisational issues.

The two parties will have to reach a deal on who will hold the posts of  president, vice-president, prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker, chairperson and deputy chairperson of the National Assembly and the chairperson of the unified party as the date for formation of the new government nears.

Oli wants to become the prime minister and also the chairperson of the unified party but Dahal wants one of the two posts.

UML’s Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhala Nath Khanal and Bamdev Gautam opine that the UML should  sacrifice for the sake of unification. UML leaders, who are close to Oli, have, however, been pressing Oli to give none of the two posts — PM or unified party’s chair — to Dahal.