Nepal faction asks Oli to stop unilateral activities for talksOli faction says the party cannot keep its hands tied when government has been acting aggressively.
While the ruling coalition is eagerly waiting for Madhav Kumar Nepal to decide whether he would remain in the CPN-UML or split the party to join them, the two-day long central committee meeting convened by the Nepal faction ended Friday without a concrete decision on the matter.
Through the two-day long central committee meeting participated by around 75 members of the total 203-strong committee of May 2018, the Nepal faction has sent a message to party chair KP Sharma Oli that he should stop making unilateral decisions and start a dialogue with the faction if he was serious about party unity.
“We have sent a message to the Oli-led faction that we are still for party unity and now it is for them to decide whether they want the party to remain united or not,” said Beduram Bhusal, a Standing Committee member. “But if they are not interested in unity, we are ready to part ways. By next week the scenario will be clearer.”
The central committee meeting that concluded Friday decided to pursue unity talks cautiously because many leaders of the faction suspect that Oli is not keen to keep the party united.
Following the meeting, another Standing Committee member Raghuji Pant said their meeting has decided to draw serious attention of the Oli faction to halt all kinds of unilateral activities including membership renewal and organizational restructuring to create an environment for unity talks.
Nepal faction’s 14 lawmakers and eight lawmakers of the Oli camp had voted in favour of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s confidence motion last month ignoring the party’s official position. Nepal faction leaders argue that it was their duty to save parliament and now they need to convince the Oli faction that their move was justified.
The Deuba-led government has been eagerly waiting for the Nepal faction to make a decision as the government will fall into minority without the faction’s support.
The government has already failed to give business to the federal parliament fearing that no bills can be passed without the support of all 32 lawmakers of the Janata Samajbadi Party, which has technically split after the decision of the Election Commission to recognize the party’s Upendra Yadav faction as the official party.
Earlier on July 2, the Standing Committee meeting of the UML’s Oli faction had decided to hold the party’s central committee meeting on August 8 to make preparations for the party’s convention. The July 2 meeting had also decided to hold a meeting on September 12-13 to amend the party statute.
While speaking at Friday’s meeting many central committee members had said an ultimatum should be furnished to Oli ordering him to apologize for his mistakes including his move to dissolve parliament twice.
“Our decision to ask Oli to start serious talks for unity is like an ultimatum to him to apologize and create an environment for unity. We hope things will be clear in a week,” said Metmani Chaudhary, a central committee member. “The meeting has welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict on our petition to reinstate the House and thanked the lawmakers.”
However, the Oli-led establishment faction of the party has been continuing with its own meetings. On Friday when the Nepal faction was discussing patching up, the Oli faction was discussing amending the party statute.
On Wednesday, the party’s central office secretary Sher Bahadur Tamang had issued a statement asking leaders to stay away from the Nepal faction’s meeting.
UML spokesperson Pradeep Gyawali has said the party won’t halt its activities in the name of creating an atmosphere for unity talks.
“We cannot stop party activities but dialogue can continue,” said Gyawali following Friday’s discussion on statute amendment at the Chyasal-based Tulsilal Memorial Academy. “The party cannot keep its hands tied when the government has been acting aggressively,” Gyawali said.