RPP, RPP-Nepal merger plan hits roadblock

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

May 23, 2016-

The months-long merger effort of two rightist parties—Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal—has hit a roadblock as both the parties are adamant for the post of executive chairman and continuation of their own party flag.

Despite several rounds of negotiation, the dialogue panel from both the parties have not been able to resolve the issues of leadership and party flag, though they have agreed to name the party as Rastriya Prajatantra Party. The RPP-N was formed after a split from the mother party RPP in 2005 under Kamal Thapa, who still chairs the party. Under pressure from the party cadres, both the parties had started the unification bid a year ago resolving a majority of the issues, including party ideology and Central Working Committee (CWC).

 

“We are having difficulty resolving the issues of leadership and party flag,” said RPP-N Chief Whip Dilnath Giri, who also is a member of the dialogue committee for the merger. The RPP-N, fourth largest party in Parliament and double in size of the RPP, has been demanding that Thapa be made executive chairman and retain the flag with the emblem of cow. In return, it has proposed to name RPP Chair Lokendra Bahadur Chand as national chairman. However, the RPP has been demanding that Chand be made the executive chairman and Thapa the national chairman. It is also pressing for the retaining its own flag with the emblem of spade, arguing that it reflects the decade-long history of the party. The RRP was formed in 1990 with Thapa as one of its crucial CWC members.

“Our party has 25 seats while RPP has just 12. It’s illogical for them to demand for the executive head of the party,” said an RPP-N leader seeking anonymity. “We have given a clear message that we cannot comprise on two issues.” The leader said the merger plan will proceed based on an RPP response, hinting that there is a slim chance.  

Giri said that they have agreed to have 50 percent representation in the CWC and all other committees of the party. RPP-N leaders say the RPP should be realistic while putting up its demands. However, the RPP leaders claim that the contention can be resolved. “Many options are being floated on leadership. There will be an agreement on one of them,” said RPP General Secretary Buddhiman Tamang, who is also the dialogue team coordinator. The party has proposed a rota system to form a council of chairman to lead the party until the general convention is held. 

Published: 23-05-2016 08:43

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