UML and MC sign uni­fi­ca­tion deal

People's Review - - FRONT PAGE - By Our Re­porter

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.

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