Thursday, July 1, 2010

Nepal Prime Minister resigns

Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal submitted his resignation to President Ram Baran Yadav on Wednesday evening. His resignation comes after 13 months in office.

“It is already too late to table the annual policies, program and budget in the Legislature-Parliament,” the 57-year-old prime minister said. “Despite having a clear majority in the House, I decided to tender my resignation, with the hope that peace process and constituent making process will be completed, as it would not be right to keep the nation at indecision and confusion in situation like this.”

Few days ago Prime Minister Nepal had said he will only resign after Maoists agree on army integration and rehabilitation issues. In a program in Kathmandu he said, “I am ready to resign once the political parties reach a consensus and Maoists implement the agreements they have signed. Maoists should transform it as a civilian party.”

The Maoists haven’t yet announced their army integration/rehabilitation proposal.

But in the address he said he doesn’t want the “deadlock to continue”. It has been a month that three-point agreements were signed between the three major political parties of Nepal to end the political deadlock, one agreement with the Maoists was his resignation. Political parties extended the constituent making process for another year, a month ago.

Madhav Kumar Nepal Nepal became prime minister on May 23, 2009 after the Maoists who won most seats-230 seats out of 601- in 2008 constituent assembly election, resigned after President Ram Baran Yadav revoked the decision of the Maoist government to sack the then Army Chief Rukmangad Katwal. After that Maoists have been staging protest in the parliament and on the street against the step of the President and they call it a protest for civil supremacy. PM Nepal will serve as a care taker prime minister until a new government is formed.

“My attempts to move ahead with consensus failed because of the continuous protest of Maoists.” Nepal said. He, however, has become the longest serving communist prime minister in Nepal.

Maoists have welcomed his resignation. Maoist supremo in a newspaper interview has said, “I welcome the resignation of the prime minister, but we don’t agree with the content where he charged us being the major obstacles of the peace process.”

PM Nepal in his address thanked his 43 cabinet members, political leaders and everyone who supported his government. He has challenged the Maoist to complete the remaining tasks. PM Nepal said, “Maoists have said after my resignation, the remaining works of the constituent making process will be completed without delay, I hope that Maoists will keep their words in the coming days.”

Prime Minister Nepal, who lost the 2008 constituent assembly election from two constituencies, was later nominated as a constituent assembly and elected as a Prime Minister in May 2009.

Parties are demanding the dissolution of Maoist’s sister organization Young Communist League, that has been charged of violating law and human rights. Parties demand Maoists to return the seized property during the conflict. The major disagreement between the Maoists and the other parties is about the issues of the integration/rehabilitation of Maoists army.

PM Nepal’s government was popular for holding cabinet meeting at the Everest Base Camp and organizing a rally of summiteers during climate conference in Copenhagen. In the last year 4000 disqualified Maoist militants were taken out from the cantonments. During his 13 months tenure Prime Minister Nepal had publicized his plan that allows 3,000 Maoists militants to be integrated in the security organs which the Maoists have opposed. Though the Maoists haven’t publicized their exact number to be integrated, they want all the militants to be integrated in the Nepal Army. United Nation Mission in Nepal has verified 19, 602 Maoists army personnel and they are living in different camps.

Nepal Army officially has officially said that integration can only happen under the international rules and standards. By international standards, the government officials say, they mean militants should leave their political ideology and should be educationally and physically fit.

Because of the political deadlock the discussion on major issues such as army integration, the structure of the government: presidential form or prime minister as the chief executive; also about the numbers of states under federation and the judiciary system; whether it will be independent or under parliament is disrupted.

The decade long Maoist insurgency Nepal’s peace process started in April 2006 after the success of people’s movement ousted Monarchy. The civil war has claimed more than 13, 000 lives and an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 people were internally displaced. 

As published on upiu.com

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