Photo: Nabin Poudel/RSS Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and UML Chairman KP Oli at their party unification meeting at Manbhawan, Lalitpur on Wednesday.
KATHMANDU, Feb 15: The two communist parties holding near two-thirds seats in federal parliament and six of the seven provincial assemblies -- the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) -- have struck a deal to rotate leadership of the soon to-be-unified party and the next government.
A joint meeting of the two parties held at a private residence in Lalitpur on Wednesday approved an understanding reached between top leaders from the two sides over the leadership of the new party and the government.
As per the understanding, KP Oli, chairman of the UML, will head the government for the first three years, while Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal would lead the party. Similarly, Oli will act as the executive head of the party during the last two years when Dahal will be heading the government.
The meeting, however, ended late in the evening without a written agreement on the proposed unification citing ‘time constraints’. But leaders said that the meeting was successful to sort out 95 percent of issues pertaining to unification and power-sharing for the federal government.
“More than 95 percent of issues have been settled. We could not draft a final agreement as some issues remain to be settled. The meeting will continue tomorrow [Thursday],” UML Vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam said.
Gautam said that there has been a tentative understanding on party leadership, organization and ideology.
“We are close to a package deal that will comprise all issues pertaining to the left unity,” said Gautam.
Briefing party leaders about the progresses reached with UML Chairman Oli in the last few meeting prior to the meeting of the taskforce, Maoist Chairman Dahal said that there have been a framework deal on leadership, organization and ideology which would be given actual shape in months or even years to follow.
The UML and the Maoist Center will have 60 percent and 40 percent stakes respectively in the steering committees, the central committee and other lower bodies of the unified party, according to Maoist leaders informed on the issue. The central committee would not exceed three-digit figures, while there would be less than two dozen leaders in the standing committee. Details of the merger would be finalized in months or years to follow and endorsed through the first general assembly.
The agreement on parallel leadership will remain in place even after the first general assembly, while the party will embrace unitary leadership model for other portfolios.
With regard to ideology, the new party would adhere to communist ideology upholding Marxist and Leninist philosophies.
The meeting also agreed to start the process for the formation of government that would be led by Oli.
“A new government will be formed within the next few days,” Maoist Center Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha said.