KATHMANDU, Feb 10: Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leader Haribol Gajurel has clarified that the conflicting stands from the two co-chairs has not created divisions in the ruling party.
The contradictory opinions from Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli over the United States intervention on Venezuela political crisis soured relations in the ruling party at a time when the unification process is yet to complete.
Following the US decision to give recognition to Juan Guaido—who on January 23 proclaimed himself as the interim president setting up a tense standoff with current president Nicolas Maduro– as the leader of Venezuela, Dahal issued a press statement denouncing the moves of the US and its allies as “unacceptable intrusion in internal affairs and an attempt of imperialist coup’.
Dahal’s statement prompted the US to inquire whether the statement from the ruling party’s chair was the official position of the Nepal government.
However, PM Oli, in a television interview, termed Dahal’s statement a ‘slip’, saying this would not have happened if he was in the country. Oli was then in the Davos of Switzerland attending the 49th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (held from January 22 to 25).
PM Oli’s comment rocked the ruling party, which in May last year announced unification after the merger of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center), creating a wide rift within the party—even dividing the former UML and Maoist leaders.
The differences intensified when Dahal on Friday warned of another fresh protest if anyone tries to undermine Maoism.
“PM Oli and Chair Dahal’s opinion on Venezuela political crisis and US intervention contradicted. But it has not created a debate in the party,” said Gajurel talking to Reporters’ Club Nepal President Rishi Dhamala at a radio program Nepali Bahas.
“The party secretariat meeting has already issued a press release in this regard backing Dahal’s statement. Therefore, it won’t be a big problem,” he clarified.
Oli and Dahal have held a series of meeting to resolve the differences over their positions.
Gajurel clarified that Dahal statement was not an intended effort to fail Chair Oli.