KATHMANDU, April 20: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Thursday held a one-on-one meeting as the two parties continue efforts to take their proposed unification to a logical conclusion. Exact details of what transpired at the meeting, which lasted for over three hours,
remain unclear. Party leaders briefed on the meeting said that Oli and Dahal held “open and candid” discussions on some key issues pertaining to the two parties’ merger.The UML and CPN (Maoist Center), which have signed a seven-point framework agreement to become one party, have not been able to finalize the merger due to some ideological and organizational differences.
Maoist Center spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said that the delay is being caused by lack of consensus on the distribution of party portfolios and on the election symbol as well as differing stances on whether or not use the term “people’s war” in party documents when referring to the 10-year Maoist armed insurgency. She said that there was a particularly big difference over what shares the two parties should have over the unified entity.
Maoist leaders have been demanding what they call dignified representation in the party. A few partyleaders are even calling for equal representation, meaning that both parties should have an equal number of members in all party executive committees including the central committees. Dahal for his part has also been seeking assurances that he would get a chance to lead the government as per a gentlemen’s understanding reached between the two parties before forging their electoral alliance.