The standing committee meeting of ruling CPN has been postponed by a week.
CPN Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the meeting has been postponed considering the floods and landslides following heavy rainfall. The meeting has been postponed for seven days, he reasoned, as standing committee members may have to visit their districts for rescue and relief works.
The meeting will now resume on July 17.
The meeting has been postponed multiple times in the past week to buy time for reconciliation between the warring CPN Chairmen KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Though the party has cited the natural disaster for the latest postponement, the chairmen are nowhere near agreement since the last postponement on Wednesday with both the chairmen firm in their respective stands. It was unlikely to resume Friday even without the natural disaster with the second rung leaders urging the chairmen to resume standing committee meeting only after they reach agreement.
CPN Chairmen Pushpa Kamal Dahal last Friday had proposed Prime Minister (PM) and fellow Chairman KP Sharma Oli to move forward as per the five-point agreement signed at the time of party unification when they talked for almost three hours on Friday.
Dahal made the proposal to revert back to the five-point agreement on May 17, 2018 before the then CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) unified during the dialogue with Oli for almost three hours on Friday.
Oli in response said he regrets the May 17 agreement and added he is not ready to discuss about resigning from either of the two positions of leading the government and the party.
Oli had told ministers and state ministers Saturday evening that plots are being hatched to impeach the president and topple the government. Dahal and senior leaders Jhala Nath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal in turn met President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Sunday and assured her that they do not plan to impeach her.
The two factions, meanwhile, have started to woo the main opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba to form coalition government should the ruling CPN split.
Deuba informed the central committee of Nepali Congress (NC) on Sunday that he has been approached by both the factions, more actively by that of Oli, but he has yet to give commitment to either faction.
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi, meanwhile, has met Dahal and senior leaders of CPN Jhala Nath Khanal Madhav Kumar Nepal as the dispute in the ruling party exacerbates. Yanqi had met chief of the party's foreign department Nepal at the latter's residence in Koteshwore on Sunday and then reached Khanal's residence in Dallu on Tuesday. She met Dahal at his residence in Khumaltar on Friday.
The Chinese envoy had also met Nepal and CPN Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on May 1 when CPN was similarly mired in internal dispute. She had also met Prime Minister (PM) and CPN Chairman KP Sharma Oli a few days before May 1. Many believed that her meetings played a role in dousing the fire in the ruling party then.
The ruling CPN formed after unification on May 18, 2018 on the basis of the five-point agreement is on the verge of split now.
The fourth point of the agreement mentioned that the two chairmen will lead the government as necessary on the basis of equality and equal period.
Dahal had relinquished his claim for the post of PM after the two chairmen signed an agreement on division of responsibilities in presence of President Bidya Devi Bhandari on November 20, 2019.
Dahal was made chairman with executive rights. Oli and Dahal were to remain chairmen, and Oli to continue to be ranked top but Oli had handed over the executive rights to Dahal.
Dahal was to lead the party and chair party meetings while Oli would lead the government through the current term of House of Representatives, according to the agreement.
The current dispute has arisen as Dahal feels aggrieved that Oli continues to run even the party unilaterally.
The ruling party is on the verge of split with the overwhelming majority of members during the ongoing standing committee meeting seeking resignation of PM KP Sharma Oli.
Oli has not been attending the standing committee meeting most of the times and he suddenly prorogued the House session on Thursday in what the rival faction deems to be a threat to split CPN bringing an ordinance to make splitting of parties easier as he had done in April.
Oli had also brought similar ordinance in April when the intra-party dispute was escalating and later took it back to defuse the situation following widespread criticism both inside and outside the ruling party.
The government cannot bring ordinances when the House session is on.
The Cabinet on April 20 had brought an ordinance about political parties to make splitting of parties easier. The Cabinet had brought the ordinance allowing splitting of a party with support of 40 percent in either the parliamentary party or the central committee. The act about political parties requires support of 40 percent in both the parliamentary party and the central committee to split any political party.
An overwhelming majority of members during the ongoing standing committee meeting have demanded Oli's resignation. Oli is in similar minority even in the central committee and would struggle to muster necessary 40 percent to split the party as is required by the current law.
Bringing a similar ordinance will allow him to split ruling CPN with backing of 40 percent in just the parliamentary party should he decide to split the party. An application for registration of erstwhile CPN-UML, reportedly with Oli's blessing, has already been filed at the Election Commission.
Oli has been under fire in the ongoing CPN standing committee meeting with an overwhelming majority of members demanding his resignation