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Nepal’s Opposition Party Splits, Faction Forms Another Party

After months of the rift, Nepal’s opposition party CPN-UML has formally split as an opposition faction registered a new party.

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal’s opposition party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist), after undergoing months of the intra-party rift, formally split as an opposition faction led by Madhav Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal, registered a new party with the name of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) Samajbadi.

Under Madhav Nepal’s chairmanship, the new party has 95 central committee members, out of which 58 are from the Communist Party of Nepal- Unified Marxist-Leninist led by former Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli.

“We will now have 31 members in the House of Representatives and National Assembly. Out of our 95 central committee members, 58 are from Communist Party of Nepal- Unified Marxist-Leninist,” said Rajendra Pandey, one of the members of the newly formed party, to the local media.

Earlier on Aug. 18, the disgruntled Khanal-Nepal faction leaders Birodh Khatiwada and Jeevan Ram Shrestha had reached the Parliament Secretariat urging it not to take action against them as prescribed by Oli.

However, the party has yet to finalize the election symbol. Earlier, the party had proposed a “book” as its election symbol.

On Aug. 17, the Communist Party of Nepal- Unified Marxist-Leninist had written to the Parliament Secretariat to take action against 14 lawmakers, including senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, Ram Kumari Jhankri, Birodh Khatiwada, and Jeevan Ram Shrestha.

Two lawmakers from Madhav Nepal’s party, Khatiwada, and Shrestha, had reached the Parliament Secretariat demanding to stop the action against their faction.

The party split comes after President Bidya Devi Bhandari issued an ordinance that allows the political party to split if they want to.

Earlier, the Council of Ministers recommended President Bhandari issue the ordinance after proroguing the parliament session on Aug. 16.

As per the press statement issued by the President’s Office, the ordinance has been published as per Article 114 (1) on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers.

“If at any time, except when both Houses of the Federal Parliament is in session, circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action, the President may, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, promulgate an Ordinance,” states the Article 114 (1) of The Constitution of Nepal.

The article further explains that for this clause, the “day on which a meeting of both Houses is held” means the day a session or meeting of both Houses of the Federal Parliament commences or is held. This term means the last day on which a meeting of the House is held if the Houses of the Federal Parliament meet on different dates.

With the issuance of the ordinance, a political party can be split if 20 percent of members of either the Central Committee or Parliamentary Party favor a split.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra