Nepal’s Maoist parties announce coalition, re-unification on cards

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Kathmandu:  Twenty-one months after they split, Nepal’s two Maoist parties led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda and Mohan Baidhya ‘Kiran’ announced a working alliance which may just be the first step towards their re-unification. The two parties plunged into serious ideological differences some 21 months back leading to Kiran forming the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist), a breakaway faction of the Prachanda-led United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M). In a joint press statement issued, Prachanda and Kiran said they have joined hands against the government’s preparations to hold local body elections and warned that they would foil this by launching strong protests across the county. They also warned the government not to revive the war era cases and asked the government not to arrest their cadres at a time when preparations were under way to form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The newly-installed Sushil Koirala-led government has prioritized conducting the local body elections within six months. Nepal last conducted elections to the local bodies in 1997. Later, millions of rupees were reportedly embezzled in these local bodies in the absence of elected representatives. The parties have also warned that they would hit the streets if their two-point demand charter was not met.

IANS