Election Commission registers Madhav Nepal’s CPN (Unified Socialist) and Mahanta Thakur’s Democratic Socialist Party

The CPN (UML), the largest force in parliament, has formally split after former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s faction registered a new party called CPN (Unified Socialist) at the Election Commission on Wednesday.

Spokesperson of the Election Commission Raj Kumar Shrestha informed that the Democratic Socialist Party under the chairmanship of Mahanta Thakur and CPN (Unified Socialist) led by Nepal were registered yesterday.

“While the Democratic Socialist Party got bicycle as its election symbol, the symbol for Unified Socialist has not been finalized yet,” he said.

Of the 154 UML lawmakers in both houses of the federal parliament, 29 reached the Election Commission on Wednesday and identified themselves to join the newly-formed Unified Socialist party.

Even after the split, CPN-UML has not lost its status as the largest party in parliament.

This is not the first time the UML has faced the split. The party faced its first split in March 1998, after disagreement over Mahakali Treaty. Then Bam Dev Gautam had formed CPN (Marxist-Leninist) with 46 lawmakers from the mother party.

Similarly, 14 out of 37 federal MPs of Janata Samajwadi Party identified themselves as agreeing to form a separate party. The Democratic Socialist Party led by Mahanta Thakur had become party-less after Upendra Yadav got the official status of the Janata Samajwadi Party.

Last year alone, the Federal Socialist Party and the Rastriya Janata Party had united and split within a year.

Nepal and Thakur factions had applied for registration of separate parties last week after the government issued an ordinance on political parties and allowed 20 percent MPs or central members to split a political party.

After identifying the signatory central members, the commission issued new party registration certificates to both the parties on Wednesday.

The newly formed Madhav Nepal-led party is soon expected to join the government led by Sher Bahadur Deuba.

Speaking with the reporters after the verification, leader of CPN (Unified Socialist) Met Mani Chaudhary claimed that their party would be the largest political party in the country within next few months, after merging with CPN (Maoist Centre).

“There have been discussions on this issue and necessary preparations are also being made,” he added.