The festering tension in Nepal and the crisis in governance have been staved off with the Prime Minister, KP Sharma Oli, and his opponent, Pushma Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, agreeing to a power-sharing deal. This will, it is hoped, end the protracted dispute in the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (CPN), paving the way for effective governance in the Himalayan country. For now, the infighting and the clash of egos within has ended.
Also to be welcomed is the CPN’s resolve to resolve the border issue between India and Nepal through political and diplomatic channels. It has of late, exacerbated with Kathmandu’s cartographic assault, specifically by incorporating three disputed strategically important Indian areas in the map of Nepal.
In an effort to settle the quite obvious dichotomy in terms of governance, Prachanda will serve as executive chairman of the party with “full power” to handle party affairs. At another remove, Oli will focus on governance. Thus has a clear distinction been effected between governance and party affairs.
The striking feature of the Oli-Prachanda agreement is that the party will be run on the basis of its established guidelines. That said, the government will be required to hold consultations with the party while deciding on issues of national importance.
The party leadership will not interfere in the day-to-day affairs of the government, however. The party’s Unity General Convention will be held in Kathmandu from April 7 to 12 next year. A meeting of the party’s Central Working Committee has been scheduled for 31 October.
It is pretty obvious that an attempt to streamline the equation between the party and government is now under way. Both leaders are now riveted to the core issues that led to the recent deadlock and the repeated postponement of Oli-Prachanda meetings.
Of a piece with this anxiety is the unanimous endorsement of a 15-page proposal prepared by Oli and Prachanda. Above all, it aims at resolving the intra-party feud in the CPN. Given the bitter dispute, the mending of fences will be generally welcomed.
The consensus proposal was prepared by the two on the basis of a report that was submitted by a party panel that was formed to resolve the intra-party bickering. The dispute, it bears recall, had surfaced after the dissident group leaders, notably Prachanda and Madhav Kumar Nepal, had demanded Oli’s resignation from both the posts of party chairman and Prime Minister.
The crisis had deepened after Oli had accused the dissident leaders of conspiring against him to topple his government. More basically, the dissidents have not concurred with the redrawing of Nepal’s map, a development that has alienated Oli’s government in its dealings with India.
The contrived enlargement of the map had been termed as “untenable” by India. The inner-party squabble had placed Nepal in crisis, and the actions of China’s hyper-active ambassador in Kathmandu had served to stir up the pot