The Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is expected to declare a split Tuesday into two factions—one headed by incumbent Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and the other by former prime ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Madhav Kumar Nepal, The Print has learned.
According to high-level sources in Nepal’s political establishment, the country’s ruling party, the “formal split of the NCP,” will take place at two meetings of the party cabinet committee headed by both Oli and Prachanda.
The group headed by Oli is likely to expel Prachanda at the first meeting scheduled for 9 a.m., sources said. At the second meeting, to be held in the afternoon, the Prachanda-Nepal faction is likely to expel Oli as the party chair, sources added.
The Prachanda-led group is then expected to name Madhav Kumar Nepal as the party’s chairman, according to the sources.
The split comes on the heels of Oli’s controversial decision Sunday to dissolve the lower house of Parliament — two years before it was to complete tenure — and announce fresh elections after losing majority support in his party. The decision has been challenged by his opponents in the country’s Supreme Court.
The NCP was formed in May 2018 with the coming together of the country’s two major Left parties — the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) led by Oli, and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), led by Prachanda. It was decided then that the two leaders would serve as joint chairmen of the party under an electoral alliance.
“It’s very unfortunate that we are losing our party unity after two-and-a-half years. After dissolution of parliament by the PM without consent of the party, the split of the party is unavoidable now,” Bishnu Rijal, deputy chief of the party’s international relations department, told ThePrint.
Sources said Oli does not even have 40 per cent of the central committee members with him to split the party officially.
“Thus, he will claim his faction as NCP rather than constituting a new party under his name, while the other faction will also continue to use the party name,” said a Nepal government official who refused to be identified.
Oli, sources added, also has plans to file a case in the country’s election commission to start the process for elections, and then the Supreme Court to defend his decision.
Meanwhile, the Prachanda faction has said it will wait for the Supreme Court verdict on the petitions against the “violation of the Constitution” by Oli, and not go for elections, the sources said.
‘Forced to seek a fresh mandate’
Oli’s decision to dissolve the Parliament led members of the NCP and opposition Nepali Congress to take to the streets against the “unconstitutional” move.
In an address to the nation Monday, Oli sought to defend his decision, saying he was “forced to seek a fresh mandate through elections as attempts were made against my government, not to allow it to function properly.”
He highlighted the fact that the internal feud within the NCP had adversely impacted the government’s functioning. He blamed leaders of the party for forcing him to take the drastic step of dissolving the 275-member House of Representatives.
(Inputs from ThePrint)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *