Maoist Centre opens up to majority govt ideaThe CPN (Maoist Centre), a key ally in the governing coalition, has decided to keep the doors open to the possibility of forming a majority government with the Nepali Congress “if the largest party in Parliament agrees on a fresh power equation based on key political and social agendas”.
The CPN (Maoist Centre), a key ally in the governing coalition, has decided to keep the doors open to the possibility of forming a majority government with the Nepali Congress “if the largest party in Parliament agrees on a fresh power equation based on key political and social agendas”.
Maoist Centre leaders have said such possibility could be explored if efforts to forge a deal with the governing CPN-UML for the formation of a national unity government fails to materialise.
A central committee meeting of the party on Saturday also decided to reach out to the UML in a last-ditch effort to seek UML’s backing on the idea of national consensus government, while undertaking parallel negotiations with the NC.
“It is apparent that the UML is not sincere to act as per the nine-point agreement. Nor is it willing to pave the way for national consensus government,” said Mani Thapa, a member of the party’s nine-member headquarters. “It would be meaningless to continue to be part of this alliance if the current situation persists.” Stating that a national unity government is still a top priority of the Maoist Centre, Thapa, however, made it clear that the party would not hesitate to explore other options if the status quo continues.
During Saturday’s meeting, some party leaders questioned the relevance of sticking to the current left alliance despite knowing the fact that the incumbent government is “incapable of doing anything substantial on economic, social and political fronts”. They said that UML leaders had betrayed the party once again by refusing to act in the spirit of the nine-point agreement.
On May 6, the UML, in an effort to save the left coalition, had signed the nine-point agreement with the Maoist Centre, making an unequivocal pledge to address the former rebel party’s concerns related to budget and investigation into war-era crimes. The Maoist leadership also claims that the UML leadership had agreed to back Dahal as the candidate for national consensus government after passing the budget.
But the UML leadership, including Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, has refused to even acknowledge that such an understanding was reached. Saturday’s meeting has assigned party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to start “decisive talks” with the UML.
Leaders have also called on Dahal to hold a meeting with those UML leaders who were present while signing the nine-point agreement to mount pressure on Oli.
Barsha Man Pun, who is considered close to Dahal, said that the party chairman will start fresh dialogue with the two largest parties to seek consensus on national consensus government.
“The agenda will again be discussed at party’s politburo meeting slated for Tuesday,” said Pun, hinting that the party hoped to arrive at some decision after reflecting on the outcomes of negotiations with the two large parties.
Some leaders have also hinted at withdrawing support from the government if PM Oli’s party fails to make expected progress in negotiations with the UML leadership.
But the move would depend on how the negotiations with the NC move ahead.
In the wake of growing trust deficit with the UML, the Maoist leadership has been reaching out to the NC seeking to form a fresh power equation based agendas.
But leaders said the NC is still undecided about supporting the Maoists on government formation after suffering a betrayal two months ago. In May, the Maoist Centre had decided to pull out of the current coalition but had made a volte-face within 24 hours, much to the chagrin of the NC.