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UML and Maoist Centre reach final stage of unification

By Our Reporter
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It has been almost three months since the first phase elections to the House of Representatives and Provincial Assemblies concluded. But the country is yet to get a new government of the left alliance that clinched absolute majority, short by a few seats for a two-thirds majority, neither were the two communist parties—UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre, the constituents of left alliance, were able to unify their parties as they had committed while forging the electoral alliance five months ago.
However, almost all provinces have already got their first chief ministers, and the people have to wait at least two weeks to see the formation of the new federal government. Although the UML leaders have been pointing their fingers at the Election Commission for the delay in the formation of the government, the failure of the two parties to unify them was equally responsible for the delay. It was also evident from the fact the CPN-Maoist Centre earlier decided not to join the provincial government of Province No.3. Party boss Pushpa Kamal Dahal had to interfere to send the party represent in the provincial government.
It has been days since the UML chair K P Oli and Maoist chair Dahal have been holding ‘One to One’ meetings to resolve the problems relating to the party unification. He even threatened to quit the alliance if needed while addressing a meeting in Chitwan a few days ago.
The crux of the problem, as reported by the media, is the post of the party chair. When Oli is almost sure to lead the new government, the Maoist- Centre wants Dahal should be made the chair of the unified party. But UML general secretary Ishwor Pokharel and other UML leaders have been opposing the idea of handing over the party leadership to Dahal. Even Oli is not ready for that. The UML leaders argue that the left alliance won the election under Oli’s leadership and the Maoist-Centre lack organizational base, therefore it will illogical to hand over party to Dahal. Oli has been trying to convince Dahal to accept the post of co-chairman till the general convention of the party, which Dahal outright rejected.
There had been reports that both Oli and Dahal agreed to work as co-chairmen, and unification process would complete by Tuesday. But that could not happen despite marathon meetings between Oli and Dahal on Monday and Tuesday . When the two leaders failed to reach an agreement, they decided to let the party unification coordination committee to finalise the issues.
Accordingly, the Party Unification Coordination Committee meeting held on Wednesday to give final shape to unification between the two parties as per the understanding reached during separate meetings of the Committee with Oli and Dahal in Lalitpur on Tuesday.
However, by the time this news story was filed, the meeting was going on and no decision was made public.
Besides Oli and Dahal, UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam, general secretary Ishwor Pokharel and CPN (MC) leaders Narayankaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa are members of the Party Unification Coordination Committee.
No matter whether the two left parties are unified, the country is sure to get a new government under UML chair Oli within a week.

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