July 26, 2017 03:00 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, July 25: Newly-emerged alternative political parties -- Bibeksheel Nepali Dal and Sajha Party -- have decided to unify into one party Tuesday.
According to the party leaders, the unified party's name will be 'Bibeksheel Sajha' Party. Bibeksheel Nepali Dal is led by social activist Ujjwal Thapa and Sajha Party is headed by prominent journalist and social worker Rabindra Mishra.
'The party unification will be based on equality. The chiefs of both the parties, Mishra and Thapa, will be joint-coordinators of the unified party and a coordination committee will have 17 leaders each from each party,” said a leader. Election symbol of the unified party will be weighing scale, which was the symbol of the Sajha Party.
Sajha party had a 25-member coordination committee. The party has already finalized the name of 17 leaders to be included in the coordination committee of the unified party, said its leaders.
An official announcement of the party unification will be made public on Wednesday amidst a press meet in Kathmandu, according to a joint statement issued by the spokespersons of the two parties.
“We decided to unify with the Sajha Party acknowledging the mandate of the local elections,” said Bibeksheel spokesperson Ramesh Poudel.
The parties had started unification negotiations right after the first phase of the local elections in May, but the talks prolonged due to dispute over the leadership of the new party. According to the latest deal between the two parties, both the leaders will assume the role of joint-coordinators in the new party.
Bibeksheel Party was established in 2012 and contested in the 2013 Constituent Assembly (CA) election from four constituencies in Kathmandu. Likewise, Sajha came into being in February 2017.
Members of the intelligentsia had suggested the two parties either unify or forge an electoral alliance in the local elections. But that did not happen.
As the two parties contested local polls separately, their candidates made an impressive showing in the first phase of the polls in Kathmandu and Lalitpur. Then, in the second phase polls, the parties decided to support each other's candidates in some local units of Jhapa and Sunsari districts.
Both the parties rose into prominence through the social media, espeically Facebook and Twitter. Their Tuesday's decision to unify have received warm welcome on the social media.