07/25/2016, 16.30
NEPAL
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Nepali prime minister's resignation leaves field open for Maoists

by Christopher Sharma

K P Sharma Oli avoids showdown in parliament ahead of opposition no confidence motion. His successor designate is Maoist leader Prachanda who is under investigation for crimes during the country’s civil war. Analysts stress the need for stable leadership to rebuild the country.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has resigned. The Communist Party leader made the announcement in person to pre-empt the opposition no confidence vote presented in parliament last week.

His main challenger, Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, "Prachanda", can now try to form a government.

Many analysts question the decision to bring the government down and warn that too many changes at the top are not good for a country that badly needs political stability to start reforms and rebuild after last year’s devastating earthquake.

The government's resignation comes after months of tug-of-war between the two major parties.

Prachanda's Maoist party, which backed the government without joining the cabinet, began turning against it after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's investigation into crimes committed during the civil war (1995-2006) began hearing complaints.

Prachanda, a former prime minister, is set to succeed Oli. However, he is one of the main suspects in the investigations by the Commission whose mandate is to give victims’ families some justice.

Even before the motion of no confidence was presented, the Maoist party had threatened to withdraw their support from the government if any of its leaders were formally indicted.

In an attempt to avert his government’s collapse, Prime Minister Oli signed an amnesty for war crimes.

Various experts who spoke to AsiaNews slammed Oli’s surrender to the Maoists, and mentioned the stories of the victims, who have been waiting for justice for ten years.

The showdown came yesterday when the prime minister tried first to appeal to the constitution (approved when he was in office), claiming that it does not allow many changes in government. In the end, he gave up.

Oli was Nepal’s 23rd prime minister since 1990, when the country adopted a parliamentary regime.

Although power shuffles are nothing new in the Himalayan nation, many feel the need for stable leadership to rebuild the country after the earthquake that killed more than 9,000 people.

“It is no good for a country to make such frequent changes every few months,” said Prof Lokraj Baral, a political analyst.

“Peace, stability, and strong government are essential elements for a better country,” said Prof Krishna Khanal.

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