Politics

NCP sets Secretariat meeting for tomorrow to conclude ‘power-sharing’ deal

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Jun 20, 2019-

The ruling Nepal Communist Party has called its Secretariat meeting on Friday to conclude the long due power-sharing deal among the top leaders.

Co-chair and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and another Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal are under pressure to complete the remaining work of the party unification, finalise work division for central members and form the politburo.

Leaders are holding bilateral and multilateral meetings to settle the remaining tasks of the party unification process and work division for long.

The party is also seeing sharp ideological differences.  

Though the party has formed the Secretariat, its Standing Committee and district committees, top leaders have yet to fill up major departments, form the politburo and appoint district in-charges and their deputies.

Party spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha told the Post that both the leaders agreed to call the Secretariat meeting after holding talks on Wednesday.

Due to several power centres and groups within the party, the leadership has failed to complete the unification process even one year after the unification.

One of the major bones of contention is appointing leaders in various departments due to claims and counter-claims made by Oli and Dahal, at least two Nepal Communist Party leaders told the Post.

Oli has been making a pitch for Ram Bahadur Thapa, the home minister, for the post of chief of organisation department. Thapa, a former Maoist leader, is Dahals’s long-time ally. On the other hand, Dahal wants Bamdev Gautam, a former home minister and UML leader, to head the organisation department. According to leaders, this has given rise to power struggle.

Similarly, more power play is expected for the politburo, according to the leaders.  

Before Oli left for Europe on June 9, a list was prepared for the politburo.

It was agreed that former UML would get 82 seats and the former Maoists 67. But both Oli and Dahal could not ensure their majority and hence they have dropped the idea of forming the politburo for now.

Oli fears a sizable number proposed by senior leader Madhav Nepal while Dahal fears Thapa could take Oli’s side.

Both Nepal and Thapa had separate lists of their loyalists—13 and 14 respectively—to include in the politburo, a leader said, requesting anonymity.

A 147-strong politburo was proposed.

Fourteen is a huge number when it comes to taking crucial decisions, and Thapa with those number of leaders rallying behind him could easily become a key player, said another leader, also seeking anonymity. “Oli and Dahal certainly don’t want that to happen,” he said.

Initially, it was Oli who proposed to give Thapa the upper hand in the formation of the politburo but Dahal refused.

Now chances of forming the politburo are slim, said Bishnu Rijal, a central committee member, who has close relations with Madhav Nepal.  

Asked about the agendas of the upcoming Secretariat meeting, Shrestha said some of the remaining tasks of portfolio division of the party’s central committee will be discussed.

“I am not sure if the politburo will be formed immediately. It needs a lot of homework to reach a conclusion,” said Shrestha.

There is dissatisfaction in the party for not calling party meetings regularly.

The party’s central committee has not sat for the last one year and Standing Committee meeting has failed to convene for the last five months.

“At least the formation of the politburo and portfolio division of the central committee members will inject fresh momentum in the party,” said Rijal, “but it does not look like the politburo will be formed anytime soon.”

Published: 20-06-2019 08:25

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