UML, Maoist leaders express renewed commitment to merge party on April 22

Published On: April 6, 2018 06:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 6: The ruling CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) continue to differ on two key issues pertaining to the proposed merger even as leaders from both sides on Thursday expressed a renewed commitment to formally unite the two left parties on April 22. 

The UML and CPN (Maoist Center), which struck a seven-point framework agreement in February to unify the two left parties, have not been able to finalize the deal due to differences in two issues - the election symbol and power-sharing in the new party.
A meeting of party unification coordination committee on Thursday ended inconclusively after leaders of the two parties cited need of further homework to resolve the remaining disputes. 

On the issue of power sharing, Maoist Center has demanded 50 percent stake in the new party and insisted that its symbol - hammer and sickle inside a circle - should be the election symbol of the proposed party. 

UML leaders have rejected both the demands but have said that there is room for consensus on the issue of power-sharing. In a one-on-one meeting with Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday and Thursday, PM Oli had hinted at giving 40 percent stake to the Maoists in the unified party. 

"There are some differences on organization but we will practice give and take to reach a consensus," Oli told leaders present in the unification committee meeting. 

Earlier, Oli had offered 30 percent stake to the Maoists, triggering strong reaction from Dahal. 

Maoist leaders said that Oli's offer was the reason behind Dahal's claim for "equal and dignified” representation of the two parties in the unified party. 

Following rounds of meeting with Oli, Dahal, who earlier this week had demanded 50 percent share in the new party, has also softened his stance. Addressing party leaders at a program at his residence on Thursday, Dahal said that the two parties would soon become one. 

"The remaining issues would be resolved once the prime minister returns from India visit. The new party would be announced as planned on April 22," Dahal said while briefing party leaders on the progress made in the unification. Dahal said that the merger would give a message of peace, stability and unity to people of Nepal and the world.

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