Nepal’s Maoist former rebels, liberal communists merged as biggest left party

Vastavam web: The main group of Nepal’s Maoist former rebels and the liberal Communist UML party merged on Thursday to form the Himalayan republic’s biggest left party in a move likely to upset southern neighbour India but have China rejoicing.Officials said the two constituents of the ruling coalition had formed the Nepal Communist Party, which now heads the nation’s first majority government in 19 years.

Nepal, a natural buffer between China and India, had ten government changes after the abolition of monarchy in 2008. Fickle coalitions retarded growth and slowed reconstruction after a devastating earthquake killed 9,000 people in 2015.Nepal’s Prime Minister, K.P. Sharma Oli, who is also the UML chief and Maoist supremo, Prachanda, who led a decade-long armed conflict against state forces, will co-chair the new group until political delegates elect a new leader in two years, party officials said.

“We are committed to economic prosperity with social justice,” Prachanda said announcing the formation of the new party before hundreds of cheering supporters.“The unification of two communist parties as a very strong nationalist bloc will define the future of democracy and political stability,” Adhikari told Reuters.“How sustainable this (unity) will be remains to be seen,” he said referring to months of tough haggling between Prachanda and Oli for positions in the new party.“India has always remained concerned about the rise of Communist forces in Nepal. Now that a strong left party leads the government here, these concerns will only grow in future,” said Guna Raj Luintel, editor of the Nagarik daily.