Friday, 17 September, 2021

Door Open For Unification

In an open and democratic system, it is common to establish new political parties considered the agents of change. The political parties carry the divergent ideas, values and cultures in a given society. They run on the basis of common principle and programmes. As long as the leaders and cadres hold unanimous viewpoint on the burning social and political issues, they stick together and operate their parties smoothly. But, when they clash on key policies and strategy adopted to fix the political and economic problems, their parties also plunge into intense bickering, leading to their splits. Nepal has seen organisation and disintegration of political parties over the decades. This trend bears both positive and negative sides. Frequent divisions in the parties affect the political process and system. At the same time, reorganisation of the new parties gives rise to new ideas and approach to solving the problems facing the nation.

The ongoing split within the main opposition CPN-UML needs to be viewed in this context. The then ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) suffered nasty intra-party conflict after former prime minister and party chair KP Sharma Oli dissolved the House of Representatives (HoR). Then the unification of UML and Maoist Centre into NCP was nullified by a verdict of Supreme Court. The row within the UML further escalated after Oli again dissolved the reinstated parliament. In its historic verdict, SC termed his dissolution step unconstitutional and issued mandamus in the name of the President to form the government under opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba. Madhav Kumar Nepal faction of UML extended its support to Deuba. However, Oli failed to take moral responsibility of his move, which his rival and senior leader Nepal termed ‘regressive.’ Nepal has earned praise from different quarters for his bold step to save parliament, constitution and federal republican system. But quarrel between the establishment and Nepal-Khanal-led faction hit a nadir.

After all unity talks between the two sides came to naught, leader Nepal registered a new party – CPN (Unified Socialist) at the Election Commission (EC). On Wednesday, the EC called Nepal and his team to attend its office in person to verify the signatures of 20 per cent central committee members or lawmakers of UML, which is necessary to legally split the party as per an ordinance issued recently. UML dissidents rushed to register their party after Oli expelled 14 lawmakers, including Nepal from the party. Meanwhile, Nepal, who is also the chairman of the proposed CPN (Unified Socialist), said that chair Oli compelled them to form a new party by shutting all the doors for them.

According to the news report of this daily, Nepal has kept the option of unity talks with parent UML open. He has nurtured the ambition of unifying other left parties and leading a socialist campaign. Meanwhile, the CPN (Unified Socialist) has unveiled important political documents, including party declaration, interim statute, interim regulation and documents related to the restructuring of the communist movement. The 10-point declaration states that the Unified Socialist will represent the interests of the Nepali proletariats and strive to achieve scientific socialism. Opening the new political party is not big thing; what is more important is it must justify its rationale and relevance in the society. Nepal must prove that his party will devise innovative ideas to win the public trust and institutionalise the federal democratic republic.