National

Questions over date of UML, Maoist merger

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Apr 16, 2018-With both the left parties adamant on their stances, the planned unification between the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) next week seems difficult to materialise.

At a time when negotiations should have reached the final stage, Maoist leaders said “we’re not ready to merge with the UML”, stressing a merger in equal terms. 

The UML and the Maoists had fielded their candidates for the National Assembly election on 70:30 ratio, which was 60:40 during the federal and provincial elections held last year.

The Party Unification Coordination Committee was expected to meet on Sunday after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s return from Karnali but Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal left for a retreat in Sindhupalchok.

Dahal’s press advisor Bishnu Sapkota said the two leaders are expected to meet on Monday morning. They would discuss the remaining issues of unification, most importantly the share in the new central committee, mention of ‘people’s war’ in the party preamble and the election symbol.

Talking to a delegation of the party wing Young Communist League led by its Chairman Ram Prasad Sapkota alias Dipshikha, Dahal hinted earlier that the merger announcement was not possible on April 22, the day the Communist Party of Nepal was formed, as there were no preparations for it.

Some Maoist leaders claimed that party unity would be elusive if PM and UML Chairman Oli failed to accept equal shares in the central committee of the unified outfit. “PM Oli has never been serious about unification. He just wanted to attract Maoist leaders and cadres in the name of unification,” a Maoist Centre leader remarked.

Even as some UML leaders were positive about meeting the Maoist demand, other top leaders were staunchly against the proposal. Dahal is under pressure from his cadres not to merge the party in haste without resolving the outstanding issues.

“During the meeting we urged Chairman Dahal that not only should the term ‘people’s war’ be included in the document but its spirit must also be respected by the new party,” said Sapkota.

Chairman Dahal met UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal later to discuss issues concerning unification. Maoist leaders claimed that Dahal could have sought support of the Nepal faction in the unified party, which would be crucial for the Maoist supremo to have a leading role in new party.

The UML has called a meeting of its Standing Committee on Monday while its Politburo meets on Thursday and central committee on Friday. All the party bodies will discuss matters related to unification with the Maoist Centre.

Published: 16-04-2018 08:08

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