NCP leaders say merger process has concluded

Published On: July 17, 2019 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

'Upcoming secretariat meeting to announce remaining unification tasks'

KATHMANDU, July 17: More than a year and a half since the announcement of the merger between two big communist parties -- CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) -- to form Nepal Communist Party (NCP), leaders on Tuesday announced that they have concluded the party merger process by deciding the remaining work of unification.

A meeting of the top NCP leaders held at Baluwatar on Tuesday finalized work division of the central leaders, selection of district in-charges, formation of central departments and its overall organizational structures and its head.

“We have completed our homework related to party merger process,” party's General Secretary Bishnu Paudel told Republic after the meeting, “Whatever we have decided will be endorsed by the secretariat meeting.”

The meeting held in the presence of NCP chairmen duo KP Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal has decided to send the party's political report after an understanding was reached among top leaders about the party's guiding principle.

Leaders, divided over whether to endorse the People's Multi-party Democracy and Janatako Janabad (People's Democracy), have agreed to endorse 'People's Democracy' as a guiding principle for the time being. They have made an understanding to reopen discussion over the guiding principle only at the upcoming general convention.

“For now, the political report has been sent to press for printing,” said Paudel.

Even as the party formed its secretariat, central committee member, provincial committees and district committees, party's organization chief, the politburo, district in-charges and central departments have not yet been formed.

Informed party leaders say the remaining committees will be formed at 60:40 ratio between the erstwhile UML and CPN (Maoist Center). According to the agreement, leaders with UML background will make up 60 percent of the party committees and sister wings. For naming district chiefs, 77 districts will be divided as per the agreed ratio. Those who were working as in-charge of the then party will be assigned their previous responsibilities once districts are divided between two parties.

General Secretary Paudel said they have decided whom to name the party's organization chief, district in-charges and the responsibilities of central committee members. “I cannot brief everything right now. But we have finalized everything including organization department's chief.”

Party leaders are at loggerheads over picking the chief of the organization department. Many leaders are eyeing the post, which is considered powerful in the party.Even Oli and Dahal themselves are said to be divided over whom to name the organization department chief. Since the chief of the organization department plays an important role in deciding membership of the party and promoting and assigning roles to the cadres, he or she can influence the party's crucial general conventions.

Considering the upcoming general convention of the party, both the leaders want to name their own trusted leader as the head of the organization department.

Oli is pushing for the party's general secretary Bishnu Paudel as the chief of the organization department. But party leaders are not in favor of Oli's first choice after it came to light that Paudel was involved in the Lalita Niwas land scam. Ram Bahadur Thapa is said to be Oli's second choice.

Dahal, however, has proposed Bamdev Gautam as the organization department chief. Another leader Ishwar Pokharel has also been claiming the position.

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