April 11, 2018 12:17 AM NPT
Delay in UML-Maoist merger
The growing differences between CPN-UML and Maoist Center over the issue of merger are troubling for many reasons. First, Nepali people have pinned high hopes on the current Left Alliance government to lead the country towards stability and development. When the two parties announced unification deal in October 2017 it had radiated this hope. And when the two parties signed a seven-point unity deal in February, the merger prospect seemed close to completion and it cemented that hope even further. Emerging differences between the two parties in the recent times are dampening all these hopes. New reports suggest that planned unification could be delayed by a few weeks, or even a few months, mainly due to trust deficit between the two sides. This is not good news when the Left Alliance has been handed over a clear mandate for the next five years to steer the country forward.
Two parties must not forget the promises they made to the people on election campaign trails. People across the country trusted them and voted for them because they had promised party unity, stability and development. Much recently, they had announced that unity would materialize immediate after Prime Minister K P Oli’s return from India visit. They were to announce formal unity on April 22. Now this possibility seems to have been pushed to uncertainty. Maoist leaders have accused the PM of taking decisions ‘unilaterally’ and without consulting Maoist leadership. If that is the case, the top leaders of the two parties should sit together and sort out the issues. To make this or any other issue the bargaining chip would be ingenious on the part of Maoist leaders.
Unification between two political forces takes time. That is understandable. May be there are technical issues to settle, allocation of seats may be another thorny issue. But it finally comes down to the question of commitment to chart country’s new future. The two parties worked with the spirit of unity in forming the governments in the provinces and also at the center. The differences and the mistrust of the kind that has been witnessed will impact the function of all these governments as well. We urge Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal and prime minister K P Sharma Oli to sit down in good faith and iron out outstanding differences. The new government is in place for more than two months now and it is expected to work on future course of the country. Any deviation from this goal will be detrimental not only for the new political course the country has taken but will also be against the people’s mandate. The two leaders would do well to revisit their past commitments. Democracy truly thrives when the parties stand united for development and prosperity of the people.