A vital meeting of the ruling communist party in Nepal was postponed until Sunday for the fifth time in order to give Prime Minister K P. Sharma Oli and the opposing group headed by former Premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ more time to work out their differences.

The meeting of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of Nepal (NCP) was scheduled for Friday but, at Oli and Prachanda’s request, it was postponed until 3 pm on Sunday. The meeting had been postponed for a few hours for parleys earlier in the day.

“The meeting was scheduled for 3 pm Sunday,” tweeted Surya Thapa, Oli’s press advisor. The last meeting of the Standing Committee took place July 2nd. Ganesh Shah, a member of the Standing Committee, told PTI that the party has also decided to hold a crucial meeting of its 441-member Central Working Committee (CWC).

The fate of the Prime Minister will now be determined in the CWC meeting which could take place next week, he said. The CWC is allowed to take a formal decision on the ‘one-man, one-post’ to be introduced in the party according to Prachanda’s demand of the dissident faction.

Sunday’s Standing Committee meeting is expected to fix the date for the CWC meeting, which will ultimately decide the fate of Prime Minister Oli, Shah said. The two leaders on Friday held informal talks to sort out their differences.

The 45-member Standing Committee meeting on Friday was to decide on the future of Prime Minister Oli after talks to reach a new power-sharing arrangement between him and NCP Prachanda’s executive chairman had failed to make any headway on Thursday.

Friday’s meeting of the 45-member Standing Committee was to decide on Prime Minister Oli’s future after talks to strike a new power-sharing deal between him and executive chairman of the NCP Prachanda failed to make any headway on Thursday too.

Prime Minister and party chairman Oli, Prachanda and former premier Madhav Kumar Nepal also held an informal meeting at the PM’s official residence at Baluwatar in an effort to end the intra-party strife.
During the meeting, Oli refused to resign or give up his position as chairman of the NCP.

A series of meetings tried to sort out the differences between Oli and the dissident group. But, as the Prime Minister didn’t accept their condition of a one-man-one-post, the talks failed, party sources said.

Top NCP leaders, including ‘Prachanda’, have been demanding Prime Minister Oli’s resignation, saying his recent anti-India remarks were “neither politically correct nor diplomatically appropriate.” They are also against Oli’s autocratic style of functioning.

The differences grew further after Oli said that some of the ruling party leaders are aligning with the southern neighbour to remove him from power after his government issued a new political map incorporating three Indian territories.

The Prachanda-Nepal faction rejected the allegations, saying it is them who have asked for resignation, not India. They challenged Oli to provide evidence to support his claim. Prachanda has said he won’t let the party break and any effort to disrupt its unity from anywhere will harm the battle against the Coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters. Last Friday the Standing Committee meeting was postponed at the last minute for a fourth time, citing the country’s flooding and landslides.

The discrepancies between the NCP’s two factions, one led by Oli and the other led by Prachanda on the issue of power-sharing, escalated after the Prime Minister unexpectedly decided to prorogue Parliament’s budget session.

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