UML and MC sign unification deal
After holding several rounds of marathon meetings between CPNUML chair K. P. Oli and CPNMaoist Centre chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the two parties agreed to the bases for their merger. The two communist parties which had forged electoral alliance in a dramatic move in October last year, took over two months to find the common grounds for their unification. A meeting of the Party Unification Coordination Committee ( PUCC) held in Baluwatar after Oli and Dahal sorted out the key difference by holding one-on-one meeting for several days, spelt out seven points of agreement to further the unification process. Top leaders of the two parties signed a seven-point deal for the unification of the two parties on Monday mid-night. The decisive meeting of the party unification coordination committee formed by the two parties had begun Monday evening which lasted for about four hours. The historic deal was signed by Chairman of the CPN-UML and Prime Minister Oli, senior leaders Jhalanath Khanal, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Vice-Chairman Bamdev Gautam and General Secretary Ishwar Pokharel on behalf of the CPN-UML. Those inking the agreement on behalf of the CPN(MC) included its Chairman Dahal ‘Prachanda' and leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal'. According to the agreement, the name of the unified party shall be the Nepal Communist Party while its guiding principle shall be Marxism-Leninism. Similarly, the ideological line of the party shall be based on the People's Multiparty Democracy as propounded by the then CPNUML's late leader Madan Bhandari. The two parties also reached an understanding to revise the People's Multiparty Democracy adopted by the CPN-UML and Maoism followed by the CPN (MC) through due process. As per the agreement, two top leaders, Oli and Dahal, will share the party chair in equal capacity. The duo would also share the five-year term of prime minister. Marxism and Leninism will shape the unified party's political ideology, which will accept multi-party system as a form of democratic practice with the ultimate goal of socialism. With the unification, the ruling CPN will be short of only nine seats in the 275-member House of Representatives if Chhaka Bahadur Lama who won the election as a rebel candidate of the Maoist Centre from Humla. The CPN-UML has 121 seast and the CPN-Maoist Centre 53 in the lower
House. The Maoist Centre that was hesitating to join the government without unifying the parties, will now send its representatives to the government
Narayan Kaji Shrestha, the senior Maoist Centre leader and a PUCC member said the two parties would now sit for finalising the sharing of government portfolios and other powerful positions including in the party. A meeting between Oli and Dahal had earlier agreed to conclude the deal at the PUCC meeting. The two leaders had consulted with their party colleagues following the fourhour-long lunch meeting on Sunday. However, some analysts termed the unification as a merger of the Maoist-Centre in the UML as no agenda of the CPNMaoist was adopted during the unification process. And in the general convention, the CPN-UML that had a strong organizational base is sure to outnumber the Maoist leaders in the new committee. Only Dahal and leaders close to him will benefit from the present unification, they argued. The party shall conclude the upcoming general convention as a unity general convention. However, CPN (UML) leader and former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepalopposed the ‘turn by turn' system to the post of Prime Minister agreed between Oli and Dahal. Talking to journalists in Gaur of Rautahat Monday, leader Nepal stated that the government formed with clear majority should serve full tenure.