Kathmandu, Dec 24 (IANS) Nepal’s ruling party is witnessing high drama since Sunday ever since Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli dissolved the House of Representatives and proposed to hold midterm elections on April 30 and May 10.
After Oli recommended dissolving the House, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari swiftly approved the proposal, creating political ripples in the Himalayan nation.
After Oli’s decision to dissolve the House, Nepal’s ruling Communist party is functioning as two political parties which were united just two years back. Until they unified in 2018, Oli was the chairman of Nepal Communist Party (UML) while Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ used to lead the Nepal Communist Party (Maoist). After their merger in May 2018, both were chairmen of the party until Monday.
The ruling party is now divided into two factions — one led by Prime Minister Oli and another by Prachanda. Both were chairmen of the unified party until Monday.
Both factions have now constituted their own central committee members, standing committee members and party committees following the dissolution of the House.
On Thursday, a central committee of the Oli faction removed Prachanda from the party chairman’s post. With this decision, the faction led by Oli has one chairman but another parallel faction has two chairmen — Prachanda and former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.
Oli said the party’s central committee meeting on Thursday took action against Prachanda for violating the party statute and for his involvement in anti-party activities. From Thursday, only Oli’s signature will work as that of party chairman.
In this row, the Prachanda-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) had already removed Oli from the party chairman’s post earlier this week for taking “unconstitutional” and “undemocratic” decisions, replacing him with Madhav Kumar Nepal.
It then unanimously elected Prachanda as parliamentary party leader replacing Oli on Wednesday. The Oli faction has also removed Narayan Kaji Shrestha as spokesperson and replaced him with Pradeep Gyawali.
Over one dozen cases have been filed in Nepal’s Supreme Court against the House dissolution move while the opposition parties have announced fresh agitation against Oli’s move.
On the other hand, both factions have claimed themselves as the official party and kept on sending their decisions to the Election Commission. Only the Election Commission gives a verdict which the CPN holds with authenticity in this row. At present, the Election Commission is studying and probing the documents submitted by both sides.