Maoist Center won’t remain in government, if it tables MCC without amendment: Chair Dahal

KATHMANDU, Feb 13: At the time when Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is reluctant to table the Millennium Corporate Challenge (MCC), Chairman of the CPN (Maoist Center), a coalition member of the present government has made it clear that the party will withdraw its support to Deuba government if it tables the compact without amendment.

Chairman Dahal also maintained that he is doing his best to protect the ruling alliance from splitting. “However, I can't guarantee that it won’t split due to the different interests about the MCC,” he added.

Ratopati chief editor Arun Baral talked with MC Chair Dahal on various issues.

The central committee meeting of MC summoned for February 11 and 12 was postponed at the time when leaders had already traveled to Kathmandu. Why is it so and when will it be held?

MCC has been a hot topic in national politics, among political parties and the ruling alliance. So, I felt a need to end the discussion regarding the MCC first and then only hold the central committee meeting. 

It will be held soon.

Many believe that the ruling alliance is likely to spit. Key leaders of the alliance are holding discussions almost daily. In this scenario, what do you have to say?

I have been asked these questions frequently. So far, there is no chance of splitting the ruling alliance. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba along with other leaders of the alliance seems committed to join hands during the election and afterwards as well. So, I believe that the alliance will remain strong and intact as ever.

However, the growing issue of the MCC has made me think otherwise. At the time when the MCC has become a burning issue among the political parties along with the ruling alliance, I am afraid to say that the alliance won’t split.

It has been reported that NC’s leader Shekar Koirala in his meeting with you maintained that NC doesn’t want to partner with MC. What is the truth?

It is true that Shekhar Koirala and I hold a discussion. The discussion was positive. He did not question the coalition but maintained that the partnership between NC and MC is not possible in the upcoming local-level election. 

Is there any possibility that CPN (MC) may break coalition with NC and join hands with CPN-UML?

In the present situation, there is no possibility of partnership with CPN-UML. However, it might change with the change in situation. 

I have been holding meetings with UML Chiar KP Sharma Oli despite our differences. Leaders are bound to avoid ego and personal interests. 

So, I don’t believe that MC and UML cannot be partners. But, it doesn’t mean it will happen overnight. My current focus is in keeping the present coalition intact. Facing the election together.

When will the issues of MCC be over? A week….. Two…?

I think it will be over after the upcoming House session. The government has summoned a House session for February 16 (Sunday). However, I have heard that the UML has urged the Speaker to postpone the meeting. Issues of the MCC will come to an end either through consensus or voting. 

In case of voting, will MC vote for it or against it?

Our position regarding the MCC is clear. It cannot be ratified without certain amendments. Besides, it is the government's right to table it in parliament. And, if that happens without amendment or consensus, we won’t support the government. We made the decision not to pass MCC without amendment through our National Congress and our central committee has also decided the same.

If the government tables the MCC in parliament and MC opposes it. Is it possible for you to remain as a partner after opposing the government’s move?

I have been advocating to continue the alliance and want it to remain intact. But if the MCC is tabled without meeting our demands, we will certainly oppose it and after that it will be immoral to remain in the government.

You might have studied the body language of KP Sharma Oli during your meeting with him. What do you think? Does Oli want the MCC to be ratified or not?

It is difficult but while talking about my meeting with him at Baluwatar, he made an impression that he doesn't want the MCC to be ratified. All he wishes is a split of the ruling alliance.

At the time when Oli was Prime Minister, he also wanted to pass the compact. But, since he has been ousted, his view about the MCC has remained unclear.

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