Nepal’s CPN-UML, Maoists to merge, KP Oli to be premier

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - INDIAUNSEEN - Anil Giri let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

KATH­MANDU : Two months af­ter the suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, the vic­to­ri­ous CPN-UML party on Wed­nes­day for­mally named its chair­man, KP Sharma Oli, as Nepal’s next prime min­is­ter.

A meet­ing of the party’s stand­ing com­mit­tee pro­posed Oli as the next premier with the sup­port of its left­ist ally, the Cpn-maoist Cen­ter, said CPN-UML leader Suren­dra Pad­ney.

As the head of the largest party in the lower house of Par­lia­ment, Oli is the nat­u­ral claimant for the post but re­quires sup­port from the Maoists to se­cure a ma­jor­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to Pandey, the stand­ing com­mit­tee also gave the nod to a for­mal merger be­tween the CPN-UML and the CPN-MAOist Cen­ter. The two com­mu­nist par­ties had de­cided last Oc­to­ber to jointly con­test the elec­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to an agree­ment, Oli and Cpn-maoist Cen­ter chief Pushpa Ka­mal Da­hal “Pra- chanda” will be co-chairs of the new Com­mu­nist Party and split the pre­mier­ship on a ro­ta­tional ba­sis, Pandey said.

Mo­dal­i­ties for the ro­ta­tion of the pre­mier­ship, merger of the par­ties, and the or­gan­i­sa­tion and po­lit­i­cal doc­trine of the new party will be de­ter­mined by a task force formed by both par­ties.

Oli will for­mally stake a claim at the Pres­i­dent’s Of­fice as soon as Prime Min­is­ter Sher Ba­hadur Deuba puts in his pa­pers af­ter chair­ing a fi­nal meet­ing of his cabi­net.

The CPN-UML and CPN-MAOist Cen­ter had formed the Left Al­liance and con­tested the polls with a com­mon man­i­festo af­ter di­vid­ing the seats in a 60:40 ra­tio. The al­liance won a ma­jor­ity of seats in Nepal’s fed­eral and provin­cial as­sem­blies and is set to form gov­ern­ments at the cen­tre and in six of the coun­try’s seven prov­inces. Af­ter a de­lay in the merger of the two par­ties, their lead­ers had as­sured the public that they would unite soon in line with the peo­ple’s man­date.

REUTERS FILE

KP Oli (left) with Prachanda in De­cem­ber

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