Unified Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist
Only if something miraculous happens will the Maoists remain one party. Otherwise the party is on course for a split. The miracle needed is for Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to abandon his alignment with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and join the dissident Mohan Baidya group. The Baidya faction has already declared that it cannot trust Prachanda because he says one thing and does another. While the Bhattarai faction was holding its central committee meeting in Paris Danda last week, the Baidya faction was having its own parallel meeting in Kupundole in which it was going through the process of formally declaring a new party. After the constitution deadline expired on 27 May, matters have come to a head as bad blood between the two factions grew irreparably. Both sides have now nearly given up on trying to save the party's unity, but Prachanda has said he is willing to give it one last chance by stepping down as Chairman if that helps save the party. The Bhattarai-Prachanda faction says it will keep talking to the Baidya group till the last moment and go for an extended politburo meeting on 29 June.
Communist Party of Nepal - Unified
Ashok Rai is a veteran UML leader and has been minister three times. Currently he is the vice chairman of the party. But he is at the crossroads: whether to stay with the NC or split off with his Janajati and Madhesi colleagues. Rai's comrade-at-arms, Prithvi Subba Gurung is facing a similar dilemma. Politburo member Gurung has become minister once, and is also on the verge of deciding whether to stay on in the UML or launch a Janajati party. Former CA member Pasang Sherpa has already left the party. Some Madhesi and Janajati UML members are carrying resignation letters in their pockets and may decide to quit at any time. The indigenous and Madhesi members are dissatisfied with the party's stance on federalism based on identity, and complained that the leadership completely ignored their views. Their conclusion is that senior leaders of the parties are responsible for the failure of the CA. Gurung said that even when his group decided to step back from the demand for a unitary ethnic province and agree to mixed identity, and other parties had agreed, his own party had decided not to go along. UML leaders haven't given up on trying to save the party, there are hectic behind-the-scenes negotiations going on to save the party. The dissident Janajati members say that if the party leadership responds to their demands, the party can be saved. An extended meeting of cadres is scheduled for later in June.
The root of the problem within the Congress is the deep-seated rivalry between party president, Sushil Koirala, and Sher Bahadur Deuba. The quarrel has paralysed party decision-making and has percolated down to 40 district committees as well. Party leaders aren't even able to go to their constituencies because the dispute has halted the formation of 32 departments and affiliated organisations including the student union. There is also dispute over the composition of the parliamentary board, the unit that decides on party tickets for the next election. The NC leaders designated to mediate have themselves been polarised. Arjun Narsingh KC says ego, personality clash and mutual mistrust among leaders are the main problems. Youth leader Gagan Thapa says party heads should hand over mediation to his generation. He says: "This is not a big problem, us young leaders can resolve it if they gave us the responsibility."