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Nepal's ruling NCP splits into 2

IANS logoIANS 09-03-2021 IANS

A day after Nepal's Supreme Court invalidated the decision of the 2018 party merger between the Nepal Communist Party-UML and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has fallen apart politically and technically.

Prachanda, Khadga Prasad Oli are posing for a picture: Nepal's ruling NCP splits into 2 © IANS Nepal's ruling NCP splits into 2

The NCP was formed after the merger between UML and Maoist Center.

On Sunday, the Supreme Court affected the split along the CPN-UML and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and took them to the pre-unification stage which will ultimately make Prime Minister Oli a bit stronger because he was elected to the post from CPN-UML.

But Monday's party split came a setback to Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda who used to be the Chairman of CPN-Maoist Center.

The court also invalidated the NCP that was registered under Oli and Prachanda in June 2018.

With the Supreme Court's ruling, top UML leaders who used to side with Prachanda against Oli started returning to the mother party from Monday evening itself.

Former Prime Ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal among other top leaders and parliamentarians started returning to the UML. 

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As per the constitutional provision, lawmakers cannot change the political party on an individual basis. If they do so, they will lose the parliamentary seats.

"Our heart is big and we have decided to join UML," Nepal said on Monday evening after bidding adieu to Prachanda.

Prachanda had called a last meeting with Nepal and other leaders to discuss what to do next.

"We have decided to honour the Supreme Court's decision and are going to return the UML," Nepal said, adding "but our struggle will continue for democracy and communism".

After the court's decision, Nepal's Elections Commission is going to ask the UML and Maoist to re-register their party, its spokesperson Rajkumar Shrestha said.

Oli after becoming the Prime Minister in 2018 with the support of the Maoist Center, had been sharing very rough ties with Prachanda, Nepal and Khanal.

They were raising voices against Oli's way of ruling the government and leading the party.

Then those dissatisfied with Oli inside the ruling party that had 64 per cent support, started organising under Prachanda's leadership but Oli kept on sidelining them.

Prachanda and his faction demanded Oli's resignation but the latter kept on denying saying that he was mandated to rule the country and party both.

In the midst of division and dispute in the unified communist party, Oli on December 20, 2020, abruptly dissolved the house and declared snap polls.

But on February 24, the Supreme Court overturned his decision.

With the new equation, Prachanda will npw have 53 of the Maoist lawmakers and the Nepal side, along with around 43 lawmakers, would return to the Oli-led UML.

These 43 lawmakers will join the mother party led by Oli.

With the court decision, Dahal's Maoist Centre is now reduced to the third party in Parliament.

In the 2017 elections, the UML won 121 seats and Nepali Congress, the primary opposition, had 63 seats.

With new political situations emerging, parties are in talks to form a new government by removing Oli but the roadmap is yet to be decided upon.

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