Monday, 30th October 2017

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Nepal Left parties in powerful merger

Biggest political union in country's history

  • Published 21.02.18
Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli (left) shakes hands with CPN-Maoist Centre chief Prachanda in Kathmandu on February 15, 2018. (Reuters)

Kathmandu: Nepal's two main Communist parties CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre have struck a historic merger deal and formed the country's biggest political bloc after their sweeping win in the federal and provincial polls, a move experts say may usher in much-needed political stability.

The Left Alliance of the CPN-UML, led by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre, led by former Premier Prachanda, had in December secured 174 seats in the 275-member Parliament in the provincial and parliamentary polls.

Top leaders of the two communist allies, in a meeting last night in Baluwatar, officially approved the "Left unity" deal, agreeing in principle on party leadership, organisation and ideology.

The deal, brokered through a series of negotiations since the two sides reached an understanding on merger in October last year, has confirmed the biggest political union in Nepal's history.

It will convert the first and the third largest parties into a single political entity.

The two parties had secured a comfortable majority in six of the seven provinces. In 2015, Nepal adopted a new Constitution that split the country into seven provinces.

In a seven-point pact signed by Oli and Prachanda, the two sides have agreed to form Communist Party of Nepal (CPN), a Leftist party with Marxist-Leninist ideology as its guiding principle.

The UML has won 121 seats while the Maoist Centre secured 53 seats in Parliament. The unified party will have 174 seats, 10 short of two-thirds majority.

Sources close to the Maoists said that the agreement was signed after interlocutors from the two sides hammered out a sketch deal on leadership, organisation and ideology which would be given the actual shape through a joint general convention in one-and-a-half year. PTI