PM Oli races to save his hold on power as Nepal-Dahal alliance seeks his ouster

Published On: April 29, 2020 08:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 29: The ruling Nepal Communist Party’s disputes surfaced after Prime Minister K P Oli introduced a controversial ordinance to facilitate the split of the Socialist Party led by Upendra Yadav. This episode has now reached its climax, as rival factions seek to oust Oli from power.  

As Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal join hands to oust Oli from power, the prime minister has devised a strategy to 'woo' senior leader Nepal to secure his position. In a meeting with the party's lawmakers close to him on Monday evening, PM Oli has hinted that he would go to the extent of splitting the party if his attempt to bring senior leader Nepal to his fold fails to yield results. 

PM Oli was put under immense pressure after six of nine members of the NCP Secretariat demanded meetings of the party's Secretariat and Standing Committee -- where Oli is in minority after Dahal-Nepal made an alliance-- to discuss the affairs of the government and the party. The meeting held at the residence of senior leader Bam Dev Gautam had concluded that Oli had failed both the party and the government and that it was time to explore his alternative. 

PM Oli then made efforts to woo Nepal, with a power sharing proposal both within the party and the government. Senior leaders close to Nepal said Oli has offered to reshuffle the cabinet, appoint a few chief ministers from the Nepal faction and change the entire team at his personal secretariat. During a meeting between Oli and Nepal factions at Koteshwar on Monday, PM Oli proposed to make Nepal one of the chairmans of the party. 

The prime minister has mobilized Ishwar Pokhrel, Bishnu Paudel and Shankar Pokharel, while Nepal has deputed Bhim Rawal, Surendra Pandey and Raghuji Pant to hold negotiations to resolve the disputes. Oli’s negotiation team has been holding a series of negotiations with senior leaders within the party in the last few days.

Madhav Kumar Nepal is currently weighing in on the proposals from Chairman Dahal and PM Oli. "It is difficult to trust both the leaders [Oli and Dahal] since they have previously breached similar promises. But we also need to make sure that the party is not divided since Oli has already indicated that he would go to the extent of splitting the party if he is unceremoniously ousted from power," said a leader close to Nepal.  

Oli faction believes that Dahal and Nepal were ganging up against him to oust him not just from the premiership but also from the party chairman. Since Dahal and Nepal factions together make up little over a majority seats not just in the party's secretariat but also in the standing committee and the parliamentary party committee, PM Oli is working on various strategies to break the alliance. 

Although the party's Secretariat meeting has been called for Wednesday, Oli faction has expressed its unwillingness to call the party's Standing Committee meeting despite the fact that 20 members have asked in writing to hold the meeting. The meeting may demand Oli’s resignation, which PM Oli has announced to face in the parliament. 

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