Oli faction submits list of members of the party’s enlarged Central Committee to Election CommissionThe move is an attempt to claim that it is the legitimate Nepal Communist Party as the ruling party heads towards a formal split.
A faction of Nepal Communist Party led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday submitted a list of members of the enlarged Central Committee of the ruling Nepal Communist Party to the Election Commission in an effort to get recognition for the faction as the legitimate party as the ruling party heads for a split.
The Central Committee meeting organised by the faction held on Tuesday morning had enlarged the Central Committee into a 1,199-member one from 446-member earlier.
“We have received a letter notifying that the Central Committee of the Nepal Communist Party has nominated additional members in the committee,” Raj Kumar Shrestha, spokesperson at the commission told the Post.
At present, the ruling party has 435 members in the 446-member strong Central Committee. Oli announced the addition of 556 members in the existing Central Committee with the provision of adding 197 more members later so as to form a 1,199-member General Convention Organising Committee, according to a Central Committee member.
Subhas Nembang, Standing Committee member from the Oli camp, told the Post that the list submitted to the Election Commission was the official decision of the party.
“Now onward, the party will have a Central Committee with added members,” he said.
The Oli faction can now claim majority in the party based on the enlarged Central Committee where loyalists to Oli have been added.
Whether the commission will recognise this enlargement is a question of debate.
A legal expert who have worked at the commission told the Post that the commission can recognise the enlargement only if it has been enlarged by a majority vote of the existing Central Committee or on the basis of the statute of the party that authorises Oli, as a chair of the party, to nominate new members in its Central Committee.
However, the faction led by another chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal holds a majority in the Central Committee recognised by the Election Commission.
Party leaders of the majority faction said that the majority of the existing Central Committee members were, however, absent in the meeting organised by the Oli faction.
As per the section 44 (1) of the Political Parties Act, the faction which claims to have made an official decision, must submit the necessary basis of the claim which includes signatures of at least 40 percent of the members of the Central Committee within 30 days of the dispute in the party.
According to the Act, after seeking views from rival factions, the commission will encourage them to go for consensus and if no consensus is reached it will give legitimacy to one faction’s decision or the faction itself as the parent party, based on the evidence submitted. If such recognition cannot be given to one faction, the commission will recognise the faction which could show the majority in the central committee before the claims were made.
The officially recognised faction is entitled to stay as a parent party while another faction can register a new party, according to section 44 (6) of the Political Parties Act. The faction recognised as a parent party also gets the election symbol that it has been using.
Sun, the election symbol of the Nepal Communist Party was earlier the election symbol of the CPN-UML before it merged with Dahal-led Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) in May 2018.
Earlier, the Dahal-Nepal faction had notified the commission that the Standing Committee of the party had decided to make a recommendation to the central committee to take disciplinary action against Oli. The Dahal-Nepal faction-led Central Committee later on Tuesday decided to remove Oli from the post of party chair and elect Nepal as the chair.