As the top leadership of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) determines the issue of allotting seats in the unified party among the former Maoist and former UML leaders, those from the Maoist side have raised up pressure on party Chairman KP Oli to hand over his executive role in the party to the other party chairman, Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
The Maoists have been demanding that Oli allow Dahal to lead the party single-handed just as Oli is leading the government. Soon after their unification, the prime leaders were busy allocating seats on the central and lower-level committees between the two sides.
Against the background of the party leadership resolving the seat allocations almost a year and a half after the party alliance and fixing the responsibilities of all the senior leaders, the former Maoists are now rising up pressure on Oli to accept Dahal’s executive role as the party chair.
In the course of sorting out the unification of the two parties, senior leader Bamdev Gautam has been placed third in rank after the two-party chairmen. Senior leaders Jhalanath Khanal and Madhav Nepal have been named heads of the Policy Research Academy and the Foreign Affairs Department respectively. Both are party portfolios of substance.
Those close to Dahal said despite the settlement of almost all the internal matters in the party, leaders representing the former UML are still reluctant to let Dahal hold the complete sway over the party as agreed before the alliance of the two communist entities.
Summoning a five-point agreement strained between the chiefs of the then two separate communist parties, former Maoist leaders have been asking that Dahal be permitted to lead the party single-handed.
Mani Thapa, who represents the former Maoists said that Power-sharing between the two top leaders is already done and dusted. But implementation was delayed for some reason. He added that it’s the right time to divide responsibilities between the two chairmen and let them lead the government or party separately.
Thapa charged that the performance of both the government and the party is not up to people’s expectations. Allocation of work is necessary for delivering better results.
In an effort to confine Oli to his role as prime minister, former Maoist and disgruntled former UML leaders want to decide the power-sharing between the two chairperson at the earliest. They are preparing to table a proposal at the party’s secretariat meeting slated to take place this week.
Approaching a public function in Jhapa last week, Dahal himself had publicly asked Oli to trust him to lead the party in the context of Oli already leading the government.
However, statements from those close to Oli indicate that Oli remains reluctant to hand over the party leadership to the former Maoist chairman. They said the upcoming secretariat meeting will not discuss any issue other than finalizing the candidates for by-elections.
Oli aide said that they are attempting to confer the party leadership on Dahal. But that seems not possible immediately.