MJF-N, FSPN close to finalising merger deal for new party

- Roshan Sedhai, Kathmandu
MJF-N, FSPN close to finalising merger deal for new party

Jun 11, 2015-

Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal (MJF-N) and the Federal Socialist Party Nepal (FSPN) are expected to formally announce their unification within a few days. Top leaders of the two opposition parties have already drafted the manifesto and agreed on the ideology and the organisational structure of the new party which will be named Sanghiya Forum.

Leaders from both sides said on Thursday that the new party would fight for the rights of Madhesis, Janajatis, Dalits and other marginalised groups. They said the new party will uphold the principle of socialism and the agendas raised by the Madhes and the Janajati movements, including single Madhes state and identity-based federalism.

“United, we will be stronger. It will bolster our strength to continue our struggle for what we have been fighting for,” said Rajendra Shrestha, FSPN general secretary.

FSPN sources said that MJF-N Chairman Upendra Yadav would head the party, while FSPN Chairman Ashok Rai will hold the position of senior leader. There will also be a co-chairman, five vice chairpersons, and two general secretaries in the party.

Ang Kaji Sherpa, FSPN central committee member, said nearly 90 percent of the issues relating to the party unification have been finalised. “The leaders from both sides have prepared the party’s manifesto, organisational structure and other technical issues. There will be some changes based on the recommendations of the central committee members,” he said.

The two parties are also holding discussions with other “like-minded forces” for possible merger.

The leaders from the two parties are said to be in talks with the leaders of other fringe parties, both inside and outside the Constituent Assembly, to start a movement under the leadership of the new party, to safeguard the rights of marginalised groups in the new constitution.

Both MJF-N and FSPN had opposed the 16-point agreement that was reached among the three major political parties—Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist)—and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik on Monday night. After the major political parties struck a deal to federate the country into eight states, MJF-N and FSPN had withdrawn their support to the 30-party alliance, led by the UCPN (Maoist). Also, the merger talks between the two parties, which had been largely informal before the 16-point deal, suddenly became inevitable.

Though some observers have said that the weakening positions of Madhesi and Janajati parties had hastened the merger deal, FSPN General Secretary Shrestha does not  agree. In fact, he claimed, that the MJF-N and FSPN unification was just a beginning of a long-conceived campaign to bring the regional and ethnic parties under one political banner. “More parties are likely to join us in the days to come. The momentum has just begun,” Shrestha claimed.

Four Madhes-based parties oppose 16-point deal

Four Madhes-based parties—Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal, Sadbhawana Party, Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party and Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party—registered notes of dissent  at the meeting of the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee on Thursday, objecting to the 16-point deal among Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist) and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik on Monday night.

 The parties that have opposed the deal have demanded that the country should be federated into 11 provinces as recommended by the State Restructuring Commission formed in 2012, not into eight provinces, as agreed in the 16-point agreement. They have also demanded that the issues related to names and demarcation of federal provinces should be immediately settled through the Constituent Assembly (CA). They have said that the agreement to form a commission for the task goes against the Interim Constitution.

The four Madhes-based parties are also boycotting the CA meeting in protest of the 16-point agreement.

 Nepali Congress lawmaker Amresh Kumar Singh also registered a note of dissent against the agreement, saying that the cross-party deal to settle the issue of names and demarcation of federal states through a commission is against the spirit of the Interim Constitution.

-     Sanghiya Forum will be the name of the new party

-    The party will uphold socialist principles keeping Nepali context in consideration 

-    Upendra Yadav will serve as chairman of the party, Ashok Rai will be the

senior leader

-    The party will have co-chairperson, five vice chairperson and two general secretaries  

-    The party will uphold agenda of “one madesh, one pradesh” and FSPN’s demand of single identity based federalism

-    Aims to become fourth largest party by unifying with other forces

-    The party will have 15 members in the Constituent Assembly

Published: 12-06-2015 07:33

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