Left leaders hopeful of Oli-Dahal negotiations

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
Dahal seeks assurance from Oli of leadership of the unified party after unity convention

Apr 21, 2018-Left alliance leaders have claimed that the unification talks remain positive even as chairmen of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) on Friday failed to find consensus on outstanding issues.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli held a one-to-one meeting with Maoist Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal for more than two hours in Baluwatar on Friday morning. Sources close to both leaders claimed that the meetings held on Thursday and Friday were positive. The two leaders would meet on Saturday too.

Dahal’s press advisor Bishnu Sapkota said the two leaders concluded discussions on the documents presented by two task forces led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and Ram Bahadur Thapa. However, the leaders have not revealed what transpired in the meetings.

Senior Maoist Centre leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the issues would be settled before party unification possibly on May 5. The planned merger announcement on Sunday has been deferred after Dahal raised serious issues including respectable sharing of power, clarity on the leadership election process and ideology of the new party. Maoist leaders are pressing for unification on equal terms. “Why should we go for a merger if the Maoist Centre will have no traces in the unified party?” a senior Maoist leader wondered. 

A major concern of the Maoist Centre was leadership of the after unity convention as they have already agreed to have Oli and Dahal as co-chairs in interim arrangement. Maoist sources claimed that the UML leadership was ready to accept Dahal as the chief of the unified outfit by electing the leadership in consensus at the convention. The differences are whether to make the agreement public now. Maoist leaders would use the deal if UML leaders stood against it in future.

“Going for unification without prime minister, chairperson and equal share in the central committee is like committing a suicide,” said a Maoist leader, adding that the ball is now in the UML’s court.

Talking to reporters in Bharatpur on Wednesday, Dahal clarified that the two parties have yet to agree on the election symbol of the unified party. At the meeting of the Party Unification Coordination Committee on Tuesday, Dahal had sought clarity on the responsibilities of the two leaders in the dual leadership system.

Published: 21-04-2018 06:57

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