Unification of UML, Maoist Center will not happen on April 22

Two chairmen will finalize report of coordination committee


The unification of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) will not happen on April 22 as scheduled. The meeting of the coordination committee for unification held at the prime minister’s Official residence in Baluwatar on Tuesday has put it on hold citing lack of adequate homework.
The UML standing committee meeting on Monday had concluded that unification should not be postponed. But it has been postponed citing lack of preparations.
“We realized there is no sufficient time to do it on April 22,” Maoist Center leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said. The meeting has also authorized the two chairmen to finalize the reports prepared by the two task forces formed to expedite unification. “The chairmen will send the reports back to the coordination committee after giving final touch,” Shrestha revealed.
UML General Secretary and Defense Minister Ishwore Pokharel also indirectly conceded that unification will not happen on April 22. “We have submitted the reports prepared by the task forces to the two chairmen to provide the final touch. They will start discussion from today itself,” he said after the meeting. “There may not be enough time for preparations for April 22 also as the leaders will have to go to the districts due to the ongoing school enrollment campaign,” he added.
He claimed that there is no disagreement on the issue of election symbol. “There is no dispute on the issue of election symbol. It is not a matter to give us stress,” he revealed. He also opined that representation in the central committee of the unified party will be decided on the basis of qualification, competence and background, and stressed that there will be no fixed proportion of sharing central committee berths.
The parties had scheduled unification for April 22 to mark the establishment of the first communist party in Nepal but have yet to agree on some issues including representation at the top level of the unified party.
The major difference between the two parties currently is on the issue of representation at the top level. Maoist Center says there should be equal representation in the standing, politburo and central committees but UML disagrees.
The task force including leaders from both the parties has almost agreed on a 300-strong central committee. UML central committee currently has 209 members, and UML leaders have proposed to add Maoist leaders to take the number to 300.
UML argues there cannot be equal sharing in the central committee after the two parties shared tickets in 60:40 proportion in the recent federal and provincial elections, and candidacy for the National Assembly election in 70:30 proportion.
Maoist Center disagrees and argues that doing so would seem like a takeover of Maoist Center by UML instead of unification, and proposes that unification should be done in a manner that self-respect of both the parties is honored to make the unified party strong even in the future.

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