UML task force preparing to sign patch-up dealLeaders from the Nepal faction have expressed concern over the hurry in signing the deal.
After weeks-long hard work to ensure unity among the two warring factions of the ruling party, the ten-member task force is preparing to strike a deal on Sunday morning, a day before the Supreme Court is expected to issue its verdict on the House dissolution case.
However, according to insiders, the power sharing deal between the two top leaders Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal has not been finalised yet.
Members of both the factions of the task force have said they would sign the agreement on Sunday on behalf of the task force and let the two leaders do the needful.
“We have decided to sign and reveal the agreement we made so far on Sunday 8am,” said Subas Chandra Nembang, the leader of the five member task force, who is close to Prime Minister Oli. “We will complete our job by signing the deal. The two leaders will do the needful later.”
Gokarna Bista, a task force member representing the Nepal faction, also said good news will come Sunday.
“You all will get the good news tomorrow,” Bista told reporters after the meeting. “We have almost finalised the deal and are just giving it a final touch which we will complete soon.”
However, other leaders of the Nepal faction have said that was only an attempt of the Oli faction to influence the Supreme Court’s verdict which is expected on Monday.
Nepal called an online meeting of the Standing Committee members on Saturday evening after the task force meeting concluded and discussed the developments.
A central member claimed that Nepal is also preparing to hold an online meeting of the central members close to him on Sunday.
The faction led by Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal has been demanding the Oli led faction to revive the party’s structures before the party merged with Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) to form Nepal Communist Party (NCP), which broke up after the Supreme Court’s March 7 decision.
Ever since the UML was revived, Oli has been acting unilaterally much to the chagrin of the Nepal faction.
Oli held unilateral meetings on March 12 without informing the Nepal led faction and included 23 leaders who had defected from the Maoist Centre by amending the party statute. He also turned the party’s central committee into the 10th National Convention Organising Committee.
The Nepal led faction refused to accept Oli’s decision and formed parallel structures throughout the country.
The task force has agreed to revive the party’s structure that was before the merger, but the former Maoist leaders and leaders from the Nepal faction would be incorporated through a certain agreed procedure.
According to a task force member, they have also agreed not to make any announcement that could affect the Supreme Court’s verdict.
Meanwhile, some central committee members of the Nepal faction have expressed concern over the hurry in signing a deal and asked the leadership to hold discussions with them regarding the progress of the ongoing talks.
“Most of the central members of the party close to Nepal have demanded that the task force members discuss with them about the progress,” said Dilu Panta, a central committee member close to Nepal. “We wanted to know why the task force members are in such a hurry to strike a deal.”
With the task force preparing to issue a common statement saying the party has united, Maoist Centre chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal has met Nepal at least two times in the last three days.
“Nepal has assured Dahal that the agreement won’t affect the court's verdict,” said a Standing Committee member of Maoist Centre after Sunday’s meeting between the two leaders.
While the two warring factions of the UML are trying to mend fences, the opposition alliance led by Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba is at risk of losing the support of the 23 UML leaders, who had backed his claim to the post of prime minister.
For the patch-up Nepal has presented a condition that equal power sharing in the party and all party decisions must be taken jointly by the two leaders.
Task force members, however, say they have not discussed the power sharing issues.