Nepal: Panel suggests full term for PM Oli, complete executive power for Prachanda

The panel, which submitted its report to Oli and Prachanda on Saturday, includes Standing Committee members Shankar Pokhrel, Janardan Sharma, Bhim Rawal, Surendra Pandey and Pampha Bhusal.
Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli.(Reuters)
Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli.(Reuters)
Updated on Aug 24, 2020 07:34 AM IST
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Kathmandu, Nepal | ByPress Trust of India | Posted by Shivani Kumar

A six-member panel formed by the ruling Nepal Communist Party to resolve the bitter intra-party rift has suggested that Prime Minister K P Oli should complete his five-year tenure, while executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ be allowed to exercise full executive power over party affairs, a senior party leader said on Sunday. The task force, formed by Oli and Prachanda on August 15 and later endorsed by NCP’s powerful Central Secretariat on August 17, was led by the party’s General Secretary Bishnu Poudyal.

The panel, which submitted its report to Oli and Prachanda on Saturday, includes Standing Committee members Shankar Pokhrel, Janardan Sharma, Bhim Rawal, Surendra Pandey and Pampha Bhusal.

Although the details of the report has not been made public, it is expected to pacify the intra-party rift which deepened further after Prachanda and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal demanded Prime Minister Oli’s resignation.

According to senior NCP leader and Standing Committee member Ganesh Shah, the panel in its report has suggested that Prime Minister Oli should remain in power for a full five-year term, whereas Prachanda should have full executive power over the party’s affairs.

When Oli became prime minister two-and-a-half years ago in 2018, he and Prachanda had reached a tacit understanding to share the prime minister’s position turn-by-turn. The panel has suggested the top leaders of the party to adhere to one-man-one-post principle and to promote coordination and collaboration between the two top leaders, Shah said.

However, the report needs to be ratified in the Standing Committee meeting, which is likely to be convened this week, he said. There is no other way to maintain unity in the party at this moment, said Shanker Pokharel, one of the panel members.

However, it is to be seen how the suggestions of the panel will be implemented, Shah said. According to party insiders, Prime Minister Oli is likely to reshuffle his Cabinet as soon as the Standing Committee meeting of the party endorses the panel’s report to strike a power balance with Prachanda. Oli and Prachanda have held about a dozen meetings to sort out the differences between them. But, as the Prime Minister did not accept the condition of a one-man-one-post, the talks failed. Oli has refused to give up his post as prime minister as well as a co-chairman of the NCP.

A bitter internal feud has been brewing in the ruling NCP after top party leaders, including Prachanda, demanded Oli’s resignation, saying his recent anti-India remarks were “neither politically correct nor diplomatically appropriate.” They are also against Oli’s autocratic style of functioning.

The differences grew further after Oli said that some of the ruling party leaders are aligning with the southern neighbour to remove him from power after his government issued a new political map incorporating three Indian territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura.

The two leaders are also engaged in tightening their grip within the party with the escalation of the intra-party feud.

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