Oli, Dahal 'close' to merger deal

Published On: May 4, 2018 06:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 4: The unification talks between the ruling CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) seem to be gaining momentum as Prime Minister and UML Chairman KP Oli has reportedly shown flexibility toward the demands of Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

After around a dozen rounds of one-on-one meetings, Oli and Dahal have been able to resolve most of the differences over power sharing between the two in the party and the government. The exact details of the understanding remain unclear but the two leaders are close to a deal on rotating the leadership of both the party and the government, according to leaders briefed on the progress made in recent negotiations. 

The understanding would be given a final shape after it is endorsed through the central committees of the two parties. 

Oli and Dahal are yet to forge an understanding on the division of power between the two parties, leaders said. The two leaders on Thursday held a decisive meeting to resolve the disputes but there was no breakthrough. 

PM Oli's chief political advisor Bishnu Rimal said that the talks were in progress. 
"There has not been an agreement on any issue so far," said Rimal. 

The Maoist Center has been demanding a dignified share in eight executive committees of the two sides. Addressing party leaders about his talks with Oli on Wednesday, Dahal said that the two parties have 'more or less equal status' in all the committees. He also assigned the leaders concerned to set up a 200-member strong central committee before the unification and integrate other sister wings to ease the negotiation process. But UML standing committee members on Wednesday had warned Oli not to pledge more than 40 percent stake to the Maoist Center in the unified party. 

Leaders said that it is likely to take some more weeks or even months for a final deal but said that there could be an announcement of a new date for the formal merger. 

On Wednesday, Dahal had told senior party leaders that there was a possibility of formal announcement of the merger date on May 5, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Karl Marx. The two parties, which struck a seven-point framework deal for merger on February 19, had initially announced to merge on April 10 and later postponed it due to differences.

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