05/31/2010, 00.00
NEPAL
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PM Kumar Nepal refuses to resign, Maoists rise up

by Kalpit Parajuli
Maoist party calls for prime minister to resign with three days; otherwise, it would destabilise the country. The announcement comes after an historic agreement to extend the provisional constitution was reached last Saturday. The prime minister says he would resign only after former Maoist fighters disarm and return land they seized.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Relations between the government and Maoists are tense again. Last Friday, the two sides had reached an historic agreement on extending the current provisional constitution. Today, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) gave Prime Minister Yadav Kumar Nepal an ultimatum, saying that if he did not resign within 72 hours, the party would destabilise the country. Maoist reaction was caused by the prime minister, who said earlier that he would resign only if the former rebel fighters gave up their weapons and returned the land they had seized.

Senior Maoist leader Mohan Baidya Kiran said that his party agreed to vote for the government decision to extend the term of parliament by one year on Friday night only after the Prime Minister agreed to hand over the power in five days. 

“There will be a dire crisis if the prime minister doesn't implement the verbal agreement to resign" within three days, Kiran warned.

The current crisis began in May 2009 when the former Maoist-led government under Maoist leader Prachanda resigned and was replaced by the current government. The cause of disagreement was the integration of former Maoist fighters into the armed forces.

Maoists represent the largest party in parliament and have used strikes and mass demonstrations to prevent the ruling coalition government from adopting a new constitution.

Last Saturday, the country celebrated Republic Day. In 2008, the country’s 240-year-old Hindu monarchy was replaced after ten years of civil war.

On this occasion, President Ram Baran Yadav addressed the nation, calling on Nepalis to work together for peace and to co-operate with the institutions, the only path to give the nation a new constitution.

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