As Nepal PM moves against party rebels, Chinese envoy meets top leaders

China’s ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi, renewed her active diplomacy as Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli moved decisively towards expelling prominent rebels in his Communist Party of Nepal – Unified Marxist Leninist (UML).

Hou met two former prime ministers — Madhav Kumar Nepal, Oli’s arch rival in the UML, and Maoist party chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda — at their residences separately. The move is thought to be an attempt to keep the Left forces together.

Her meeting with Madhav Nepal coincided with Oli’s decision to issue showcause notices to four prominent leaders of the UML, including Nepal, Bhim Rawal, Surendra Pandey and Ghanshyam Bhushal. The notices were seen as a preliminary step to expel them from the party on disciplinary grounds.

A letter signed by UML secretary-general and Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel has warned that further action will be taken against leaders not furnishing “satisfactory” responses within a three-day deadline.

Madhav Nepal and his followers have been accused of holding separate meetings against the instruction of the party leadership.

Despite China’s initiatives, the Nepal Communist Party that had been formed with the merge of the UML and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) two years ago stands dissolved following an order of the Supreme Court, with the two constituents retaining their pre-merger identity.

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