CPN (Unified Socialist) leader Jhala Nath Khanal has ruled out immediate unification with CPN-UML.
Taking with Setopati on Wednesday Khanal stated that unity with those having similar ideology is natural but added that the party formed after splitting from UML will not unify with anyone immediately.
There have been rumors about unification of the party with UML after CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli proposed to make Unified Socialist Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal the next president but Khanal expressed ignorance about that.
He stressed that the party was not like vegetables kept in the market for sale and could not be acquired by others in exchange for any post. "This is a party with some policies, systems, ideologies and integrity. We should, therefore, talk on a formal foundation if we have to talk with anyone. I don't know such things until now. It is another thing if I have yet to be told. But I have not been informed until now."
He said that if the party had to unify with UML it should be done in an institutional and ideological manner. He also refuted rumors that he had also been offered the post of president. "Nobody has formally brought such proposal to me."
When asked if the pre-election coalition will be revived he quipped that Prime Minister (PM) Pushpa Kamal Dahal's preparations seemed to point so.
Dahal quit the coalition with NC and Unified Socialist on December 25, 2022 and became PM with support of CPN-UML, Rastriya Swatantra Party, RPP, Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP), Janamat Party and Nagarik Unmukti Party after Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba refused to make him PM first.
UML has been saying that the party should get the post of president as per the power-sharing agreement reached with Dahal at the time of forming the government while PM Dahal has been talking about national consensus for president since NC voted for his government during the floor test on January 10.
Dahal has not specified what such national consensus is but multiple party sources have confirmed that Maoist Center looks set to support NC candidate in the presidential election.
Khanal also said that it would be best to elect the next president through national consensus. "If that doesn't happen we cannot say it can't be done through majority. The laws allow that."