In a major political breakthrough, Nepal's two leading communist parties -- the ruling CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) -- on Thursday merged to form the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), the country's largest Left party.
The official announcement of unification was made by CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal at a conference in Kathmandu. With this, the NCP will be the single largest party in both the Federal and Provincial assemblies.
The NCP's Chairmen -- Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, the head of the UML, and Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', who heads the Maoist Centre -- announced at the conference that all structures of the old parties were dissolved from Thursday.
After the unification, the central members of the NCP jointly took the oath of office and secrecy at the Prime Minister's official residence in Baluwatar. This was followed by Oli and Prachanda administering the oath of office and secrecy to each other.
All the properties registered in the name of UML and Maoist Centre will be transferred to the new party. The NCP will have a 441-member Central Committee in which UML and Maoist Centre will have 241 and 200 members respectively.
Similarly, it will have a 43-member Standing Committee with 25 members from the UML and 18 from the Maoist Centre. Oli and Prachanda will lead the unified party and a nine-member Secretariat and enjoy equal power.
In their political document, both parties agreed to accept the contribution made by decade-long Maoist's People's War and peaceful struggle by the UML in the last decades. Marxism-Leninism will guide the new party's ideology.
"Today is one of the very happiest days of my life... This unification is for the prosperity of the nation and we will follow the all democratic norms and values," Oli said.
"No one should worry that Communists will rule the country and will muzzle (others). No, we are not going to impose any anti-democratic actions against anyone."
Prachanda said: "The era of good governance has started with the unification of two Communist parties... Our unity has sent a new message to the world."
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