KATHMANDU, Jan 25: The Election Commission (NC) has decided not to recognize any of the two factions of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) as the official party.
The election body made the decision on Sunday while concluding that both the NCP factions led by K P Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal are one party, at least on the legal ground. The decision gives a new twist to the ongoing legal battle of the Dahal-led faction of the NCP to secure an official recognition as the NCP.
Earlier, the Dahal faction of the NCP had reached to the EC, demanding that they be recognized as the official NCP. The faction claimed that they should be recognized as the official NCP as they command the majority in the party's Secretariat, Standing Committee, and Central Committee with them.
EC officials said it is difficult to bring any amendments, changes, or reshuffle in the record as demanded by both the factions of the NCP as per the party's statute. The EC has informed both the NCP factions that the details submitted to them after the unification between the erstwhile CPN (Maoist Center) and CPN-UML remain unchanged.
With the latest decision of the EC, Oli and Dahal remain the chairpersons, while Bishnu Paudel serves as the party's General Secretary, at least in the paper. The Dahal-led faction had earlier removed Oli from the post of Chairman and picked Madhav Kumar Nepal in his place. The faction on Sunday decided to strip Oli of even the party's general membership.
However, the Oli faction has not removed Dahal from the post of party Chairman yet. With the decision of the Election Commission (EC), the decision of the Dahal-led faction to pick leader Nepal as the party's co-chairperson has become invalid.
The ruling NCP saw a vertical split across the party's committees after Prime Minister Oli decided to dissolve the House of Representatives and announced midterm elections for April 30 and May 10. Both Oli and Dahal factions have been holding mass gatherings and other party activities to show their strength across the country in the days that followed the dissolution of the parliament.