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Two Left parties in Nepal merge

Oli (top), Prachanda

Kathmandu: Nepal's ruling CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre on Thursday formally merged to form the Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

It is Nepal's largest Left party and it was formed eight months after they initially agreed on the unification.

The CPN-UML, led by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, and the CPN-Maoist Centre, led by former Premier Prachanda, announced the formation of the grand party at a news conference following a series of meetings.

Addressing mediapersons after the merger, Prachanda said: "The unification between CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre is like forming water by combining hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen and oxygen cannot be separated once they turn into water."

He termed the unification between the two communist forces as a "great step".

The former Prime Minister said that the new party formed after the unification of two parties will work for stability, development and prosperity for the people.

Oli said the unification will now help the government to achieve the goal of prosperous Nepal.

A nine-member central secretariat and a 45-member standing committee have been formed to steer the party. Similarly, a 441-member central committee was also formed with the inclusion of 45 per cent members from the former CPN-Maoist Centre.

Now, the new party has a strength of 175 members in the 275-member House of Representatives, which is nearly two-thirds majority.

Earlier, Oli held a joint meeting of the unified party at the Prime Minister's official residence in Baluwatar.

At the meeting, central NCP members took the oath of office and secrecy. Later, Oli and Prachanda administered the oath of office and secrecy to each other.

As per the terms of agreement of the unification of the two parties, Oli and Prachanda will lead the unified party and a nine-member secretariat and enjoy equal powers.

It was also decided to transfer all properties registered in the name of the CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre to the new party.

After the meeting, top leaders went to the Election Commission to inform it about the merger, and the NCP's new election symbol, the Sun. According to the senior leader of the CPN-Maoist Centre, Sunil Manandhar, the Sun was the symbol of the CPN-UML.

The two Left parties have agreed to share central committee members among themselves - 55 for the UML and 45 for the Maoists. The new party will have a 441-member central committee which will include 241 UML members and 200 Maoists. It will also have a 43-member standing committee with 25 representatives from the UML and 18 from the Maoist Centre. 

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