Maoist Center, Unified Socialist and JSP in a ‘quiet’ negotiation to forge 'working alliance' in parliament

Published On: January 25, 2023 08:14 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 24: Three major political parties -- CPN (Maoist Center), CPN (Unified Socialist) and Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) -- in parliament have expedited a 'quiet' negotiation to forge working alliance, if not unity, among them ahead of the election to the president. 

Multiple sources within the Maoist Center and Unified Socialist said efforts are underway to forge unity among all leftist parties except the CPN-UML. As JSP Chairman Upendra Yadav also has a leftist background, negotiations are underway to bring the JSP under the broader alliance of the leftist parties. 

The initiative to bring together leftist parties in parliament was taken by Unified Socialist Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal. A senior leader of the Unified Socialist said the working alliance, if not unity, among the three parties is expected to make them a strong political force in the parliament. 

"There is a fear even within the Maoist Center that the UML that has extended its support to the form the government led by the Maoist Center could withdraw its support to the government at any time. This has made even the Maoist Center to feel its necessity now," a senior leader of the Unified Socialist told Republica. 

While the Maoist Center has 32 members in the House of Representatives, the Unified Socialist has 10 members. Similarly, Yadav-led JSP has a total 12 members. The three parties will have a total of 54 members in parliament if a working alliance is forged in the parliament.

The Nepali Congress (NC), which is the largest party in parliament, has 89 members in parliament. The second largest party, UML, has 79 members in the parliament. "Negotiations are currently underway among the parties now. We are confident that there will be agreement either to forge a working alliance or unity among the parties before the presidential election," claimed the Unified Socialist leader, asking not to be named. 

Although the JSP and Unified Socialist extended support to the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government, they have not joined the government. CK Raut-led Janamat Party and Mahantha Thakur-led Loktantrik Samajbadi Party (LSP) have also decided not to join the government even after extending support to the Dahal-led government. 

The exercise to form a new alliance comes ahead of the election to the president. Although the Maoist Center and the UML had earlier reached an informal understanding to elect UML candidate as new president, the formation of a new political alliance among the parties in parliament could effectively blight that prospect. 

The three parties even held negotiations to forge unity among them even before the parliamentary election held on November 20, 2020. But as the Maoist Center allegedly changed its mind at the eleventh hour, the plan could not materialize. 

If the plan to forge an alliance among the three parties materializes, there is an extremely low chance of the UML getting its candidate elected as the new president. As the NC will also come onboard the new alliance, the parties other than the UML may get the presidential and vice presidential berths, claimed the leaders. 

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