No dispute over embracing ‘sun’ as election symbol after merger, says Pokhrel


Prakash Silwal
KATHMANDU, April 17:
CPN-UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokhrel has clarified that there is no dispute between his party and CPN (Maoist Center)—who are in the process of unification—over the idea of embracing ‘sun’ as the election symbol of the new united party.

“There is no debate regarding the matter of election symbol, following the unification of both left parties,” said Pokhrel.

Presently, sun is the election symbol of UML while the Maoist Center identifies itself with a symbol displaying a hammer and sickle inside a circle.

Leader Pokhrel claimed that there were no significant disputes regarding the unification between two political parties. The issue of election symbol had been already sorted out. His remarks come at a time amid the speculations that leaders of the left parties are at odds over the election symbol, recognition of Maoist War in party’s statute and allocation of power in central committee.

A meeting of the party unification committee formed to facilitate the unification process earlier today decided to give the responsibility of finalizing the pressing issues regarding the merger to chairs of both political parties- KP Sharma, UML and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Maoist Center.

“Chairs of both political parties will further work to give a final touch to some outstanding issues and the next meeting of the coordination committee will decide them,” he added.

Though a joint task force of both political parties in the third week of March submitted reports to the coordination committee, proposing for taking the unification process to a conclusion on coming April 22 and received a positive response as well, discussions over the proposal was delayed due to Prime Minister and UML chair Oli’s recent India visit.

The coordination committee meeting on April 5 decided to make necessary arrangements for a merger between two parties, taking the task force proposal positively.

Following the today’s coordination committee meeting, both chairs have started talks at Prime Minister’s official residence, Baluwatar.

According to Maoist Center leader Narayankaji Shrestha, it seemed that preparations would not be enough to unite the parties on April 22 when leader Pokhrel’s view was that it could not be said now that the announcement of unification would not take place on that date.

Leader Pokhrel refuted the demand for a 50 percent share by the Maoist Center in the central committee after unification, adding that roles and responsibilities would be given on the basis of individual’s competency, skills, background and necessity.

The UML has summoned a politburo meeting on coming April 19 and a central committee meeting for April 20 to discuss the unification issues.