NCP on verge of split: Oli, Prachanda-Nepal factions holding separate meetings

21 December 2020, Kathmandu

The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is on the verge of split after the party took a disciplinary action against chairman KP Sharma Oli by stripping him of his membership of the party.

The formal process of the party split began after Chairman Oli, who is also the Prime Minister of Nepal, dissolved the parliament two days after he agreed to resolve the party dispute by withdrawing the Constitutional Council Ordinance.

On the other hand, leaders of Oli faction have commented that Prime Minister Oli resorted to the parliament dissolution after the government did not get any supports from within the party itself and the Prachanda-Nepal faction started preparing to impeach the President and file a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister. With this, the possibility of keeping the NCP intact is getting slimmer.

On October 3, 2017, the then CPN-UML and then CPN (Maoist Center) had formed an election alliance and announced the party unity on May 17, 2018 to form the Nepal Communist Party. The NCP is likely to split without completing the unification process.

During this period, former UML and Maoist Center lawmakers have changed their group.  Former Maoist leader Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ and Lekhraj Bhatta have joined Oli faction while former UML leader Madhav Nepal has aligned with Prachanda. Seven ministers except Thapa and Bhatta who represented Prachanda-Nepal faction resigned from their posts yesterday following yesterday’s political move.

Members associated with Prachanda-Nepal of the Standing Committee meeting held on Sunday decided to take a disciplinary action against Oli by stripping him of the membership of the party.

With this decision, Oli has called a meeting of the lawmakers of his faction at Baluwatar at 9 am today.

According to sources, in case the party splits, Oli will direct the lawmakers to go for mid-term polls scheduled for April 30 and May 10, 2021 by forming a new party.

Likewise, Prachanda-Nepal faction has called a meeting of the lawmakers of the dissolved parliament. The faction is making preparations to revive the parliament by invoking special rights laid down in the Constitution, through judiciary and road demonstrations.

An emergency central committee meeting of the party called for Tuesday will also dwell on the same issue, said an NCP source.

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