UML, Maoists for middle path on disputed issues

Published On: February 14, 2018 07:49 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 14: A day after agreeing to rotate the party leadership, UML Chairman KP Oli and CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday decided to resolve other contentious issues pertaining to the planned left unity on the basis of consensus.

A one-on-one between Oli and Dahal held at a private residence in Manbhawan, Lalitpur agreed to find a middle path to iron out differences over other contentious issues including organizational matters,  ideology and key portfolios. 

The two leaders have also agreed to brief cross-party leaders about the progress made in the one-on-one meetings on the major bones of contention including party leadership and premiership, leaders who were briefed  said. 

On Monday, Oli and Dahal had agreed in principle to rotate the leadership of the proposed new party, ending a long stalemate over the issue. According to the Maoist leaders, they had also agreed to rotate the premiership. 

A joint taskforce comprising leaders of the two parties is scheduled to meet at 2 pm, Wednesday. 

“A joint taskforce will now prepare a draft agreement based on consensus reached between the two chairmen.  The agreement will cover other issues pertaining to the merger, including organization and ideology. The merger will now take pace,” said Maoist spokesperson Pampha Bhusal. 

Leaders briefed on the progress made in the one-one-one said that Oli and Dahal have also forged a broad understanding on organization and ideology. 

The new party would embrace  the ideologies of both Maoism and Marxism, while there would be a respectable splitting of power in the party steering committee and lower committees. 

The Maoists have demanded a 60:40 division in the party organization and major portfolios, while UML has offered them a 30 percent stake. 

Though UML leaders are silent on the issue of premiership, the Maoists claim that Dahal would lead the government for at least two years. 

“I would be prime minister again sooner or later,” Dahal said in Chitwan  Tuesday. 

UML Secretary Pradeep Gyawali, however, said that there has not been any agreement on the issue of premiership. He said that staking a claim to the premiership would be against the popular mandate. 

“Party leadership and premiership are two different issues. As far as I know, there has not been any agreement on premiership.”

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