Nepal's Maoist party on verge of split

Nepal maoistsThe UCPN-M, that had won 26 seats out of 240 seats under the first past-the-post system for the Constituent Assembly. (AP)

The Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M) appeared heading closer to a split with party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda declining to review the list of "legislators" nominated under the proportional representation system as demanded by the dissidents, led by his one-time close aide and former PM Baburam Bhattarai.

"Prachanda declined to review it, and dared the dissidents to split or divide the party," a senior leader close to the party chief told The Indian Express.

With submission of the list by all 30 parties, including the UCPN-M, to President Ram Baran Yadav Thursday evening, chances of any review are over, leaving Bhattarai-led dissidents to challenge it politically within the party or in court.

During their meeting with Prachanda Wednesday night, Bhattarai and Shrestha had warned that they would not accept the list submitted by Prachanda, and move a petition formally before the Election Commission if the list was not amended within the deadline.

The UCPN-M, that had won 26 seats out of 240 seats under the first past-the-post system for the Constituent Assembly, secured little more than 15 per cent votes in the proportional representation system earning 54 seats.

Bhattarai and Shrestha either boycotted or walked out of the meetings convened by Prachanda to select the legislators under the PR system during the past one week.

The party, that led the decade long insurgency ending in 2006, had emerged as the largest party in the first CA poll held in 2008, but suffered a split in June 2012, and a humiliating defeat in the second CA poll held in November.

Bhattarai and Shrestha have also been insisting Prachanda own responsibility for the poll outcome.

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