Left unity hinges on party leadership, premiership

Published On: January 9, 2018 08:02 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 9: The UML has proposed to CPN (Maoist Center) to go into a merger with 60:40 percent split in leadership and organization as the two parties expedite backdoor negotiations with view to finalize tentative framework of unification before the formation of new government.

A committee comprising senior leaders from the two parties has been working to hash out a broader framework on various aspects of the planned unification, while both parties have been carrying out separate discussions on the proposal. 

During the negotiations, UML interlocutors have offered to sort out the issue of leadership, organization and ideological issues in line with a common election manifesto unveiled by the two parties during the parliamentary and provincial elections. The parties have already decided to adopt an appropriate ideology and political line.

Maoist leaders, despite expressing readiness to agree to 60:40 split in power, have cited objection to issues pertaining to power-sharing in the new government and party leadership. Maoist leaders said UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli has failed to offer a clear modality on leadership. Oli does not appear willing to rotate premiership with Maoist Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal. 

Dahal has said that he should get chance to lead the government for the second half of the five-year term. 

“Our party has clearly stated that the two chairmen should alternatively lead the government and party. There will be negotiation on other issues once there is a clear agreement on a power-sharing deal and leadership,” said Maoist leader Mani Thapa. 

Giving suitable role to some powerful Maoist leaders is also emerging as major headache for the leaders from both sides. Though Ram Bahadur Thapa and Narayan Kaji Shrestha are likely to make it to the standing committee of the unified party, it is still unclear what will be the status of other senior leaders in the new party. Some leaders including Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Janardan Sharma, Matrika Yadav and Barsha Man Pun have demanded dignified status in the merged political entity.

Maoist spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said that there are still some unaddressed concerns among the party leaders. “The Maoist leadership is determined to seek a dignified status for the entire party, not just for some leaders,” said Bhusal.


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