Dahal weighs opportunity, challenge KIRAN PUN KATHMANDU, July 29: The ruling UCPN (Maoist) that has lately seen much upheaval has once again announced a date in February for its general convention to elect a new party leadership, the third such announcement in 22 years. However, a diversity of views exists concerning this development. For some the announcement was a tactical response to a similar announcement made by the breakaway CPN-Maoist to hold its general convention a month earlier, rather than a sincere move towards a truly democratic party. But for others, Dahal is keen on the convention since it will not only be taking place with the most favorable timing and political environment for him but also the gathering will provide him a golden opportunity to fend off accusations of holding the topmost position in the party for 22 years without the mandate of a general convention. For Ram Karki, an influential party leader, the announcement was nothing more than a spontaneous reaction to the announcement of the CPN-Maoist led by Mohan Baidya that it would hold a general convention of its own to put the mother party to shame. It is worthless to hope that Dahal, who cancelled his announcements of general conventions twice in the last 22 years on the pretext of unfavorable situations, will be true to his word at a time when his hold in the party is fast waning and his popularly in the party is probably at its lowest after remaining chief since 26 years ago, said Karki.In addition, the Dahal faction will never be genuinely ready for any sort of general convention as long as they do not settle the hefty financial embezzlements in which they are directly involvement, said Karki, who has been a vocal critic of Dahal´s policy within the party.Such huge and shameful financial irregularities, along with many other ills, would never have occured had the party organiz
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