UCPN (Maoist) feud boils down to power sharing

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
UCPN (Maoist) feud boils down to power sharing

May 19, 2014-

Top leaders of the UCPN (Maoist) are weighing options to settle the intra-party feud that festered after the party’s national convention held in the first week of May.

Though Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Baburam Bhattarai have agreed to iron out ideological differences through a special general convention, internal power-sharing still remains a thorny issue.

The Bhattarai faction has said the exact date for the special convention should be announced and there should be amicable power-sharing in the Office Bearers, Standing Committee and Central Committee. Leaders suggest two ways of forming the office bearers, a powerful body empowered to take prompt decisions on national issues, having five or 11 members.

If the party has five members as office bearer, Bhattarai will be nominated as a senior leader or vice-chairman and Krishna Bahadur Mahara as the secretary. Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Post Bahadur Bogati are serving as vice-chairman and general secretary, respectively. Bhattarai, who resigned as the vice-chairperson of the party in 2013, has agreed to return as a vice-chairman or senior leader, the post occupied by Mohan Baidya before the party split in 2012.

However, Bhattarai has been saying publicly that he will not hold any public position until the promulgation of a new constitution. If the party adopts a five-member Office Bearers, Bhattarai’s aide Top Bahadur Rayamajhi will be nominated as the deputy parliamentary party leader. If the party goes for 11-member office bearers, there will be more than one general secretaries and secretaries. Leaders Rayamajhi, Barsha Man Pun, Agni Sapkota, Haribol Gajurel and Giriraj Mani Pokhrel will be promoted to office bearers in an 11-member team.

After joining peaceful politics in 2006, the Maoist party had office bearers to practise collective leadership.

The size of the central committee still remains a contentious issue: the national convention envisaged a 99-member CC but top leaders decided to extend the size to 151 saying that it is not possible to accommodate senior leaders in a smaller body. Leaders close to Dahal are of the view that the Bhattarai faction should be accommodated within a 99-member CC. About 15 leaders, including Bhattarai, decided during the Biratnagar convention to stay out of the CC.

A CC meet on Monday discussed alternatives for power-sharing. The meeting mandated Dahal to hold talks with Bhattarai and present a proposal in the CC meeting on Tuesday. “The chairman is collecting views from leaders. He will take a decision on power-sharing soon,” said CC member Hemanta Prakash oli.

Published: 20-05-2014 10:23

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