KATHMANDU, May 11: The CPN (Maoist Center) has directed its party chapters of all the seven provinces to recommend names of around 200 leaders as the party prepares to revamp its jumbo central committee.
The new central committee would be integrated with the central committee of the CPN-UML once the two parties finalize the planned merger.
Maoist leader Mani Thapa, who is the coordinator of Province 5, said that all provincial committees have begun works to select candidates for the central committee.
He said that the work is likely to take some time due to a huge number of aspirants. The third largest party in the parliament has over 4000 central committees (CC) members.
Leaders said that the sheer size of the CC has made it challenging for the party to pick the candidates unanimously.
"We are trying to finalize the names on the basis of consensus. Other criteria like seniority and contribution to the party would be followed if the current efforts fail to bear fruit," said Thapa.
The selection process drew widespread interest from among party rank and file as many see it as an opportune time to consolidate their position in the party.
"Everybody wants to be on board the central committee. But over ninety percent in the current CC have to be dropped. So there is naturally a big concern among the leaders about their fate," said a Maoist leader.
The selection process has been looked meaningfully as it comes amid merger talks with UML.
Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had directed the party leaders to initiate process to set up a small CC amid progress in talks with UML Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
The to be unified party, which has been named as the Communist Party of Nepal, is likely to have around 350 to 400-member CC. Maoists are expected to get around forty percent shares in the central committee although the exact number remains to be decided.
While all CC member of the CPN-UML will hold their current positions in the new party, 19 out of 20 CC members of the Maoist Center face the risk of expulsion.
Leaders said that there has been progressing in negotiation in coalition talks although a final deal continues to remain elusive. Dahal and Oli have already struck an understanding to share power between them but are still stuck on the issue of division of power between the two parties.