KATHMANDU, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Nepal's two communist parties, the UCPN (Maoist) and CPN-Maoist, are making efforts to unify to regain their lost position in the national politics, top officials of both parties have said.
Top officials of both parties have been meeting during the last few days to highlight the importance of unification in a bid to have a bigger role in the ongoing constitution-drafting process.
Due to their split in 2012, the UCPN (Maoist) came out third in the Nov. 19, 2013 elections, while the CPN-Maoist, which boycotted the election, has practically been left out in national politics.
The UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal akin Prachanda has said that he is ready to hand over the leadership of the party to CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya if it helps to unite the two parties. "Party leadership is not a big deal for me, the party has become weak so two parties should be united," Prachanda said.
This is the first time that Prachanda has said that he is even ready to give up the post which he has been occupying for two decades now. The leaders said that with the continued disunity among the leaders of the two parties, there would be lesser chances for their communist agenda to be incorporated in Nepal's new constitution.
The conservative party Nepali Congress and democratic left CPN- UML have cornered almost two thirds of votes in the Constituent Assembly(CA). The CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya Kiran has also stressed the rapprochement between two parties to salvage the communist movement of the country.
This week Kiran and Prachanda were in a same program and both leaders highlighted the importance of party unity. "Due to the political and ideological differences, party unification could not be possible in the immediate future but a working alliance is possible," Kiran said.
Leaders from both parties said that on the several issues related to the crafting of a new constitution, the two parties stand together. The UCPN (Maoist) is saying that CPN-Maoist should be brought in the constitution-drafting process. The two parties have similar positions on the issue of federalism and forms of governance.
"The CPN-Maoist should be brought into the constitution- drafting process at any cost because it is a vital part of Nepal' s ongoing peace and constitution-drafting process," UCPN (Maoist) leader Agni Prasad Sapkota told Xinhua.
In 2008, the Maoist Party emerged as a largest party after securing 240 seats in 601-member CA but in 2013 the party got just 84 seats. After the election, both parties were struggling to retain their previous position in the national politics.
Both parties are internally divided and have failed to manage their own affairs. Last week, the UCPN (Maoist) held its national convention for the purpose of the party rebuilding but it failed to do so. Serious disputes have surfaced between Prachanda and senior leader Baburam Bhattarai.
There are also disputes inside the CPN-Maoist over the party's future political course. Due to these disputes, the party has failed to form the party's Central Committee. The Bhattarai faction has refused to be members of the central committee, claiming that Prachanda imposed his unilateral decision in the party.