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Constitution crisis: Nepal PM won't quit

world Updated: Aug 28, 2012 23:23 IST
Utpal Parashar

Despite growing clamour for his resignation, Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has expressed unwillingness to step down till there's agreement among parties on his successor.

Bhattarai reiterated his stance during a 45-minute address to the nation on Tuesday on completion of one year of his government.

"I have no interest or intention to continue indefinitely in office. But till another government is formed and till our government exists, we have to fulfill the basic duty of state administration," he said.

The Prime Minister assured that as soon as there is consensus among parties on a package solution to issues (related to government, elections and constitution), the Maoist-Madhesi coalition would relinquish power.

"If I resign without seeing a clear road for resolution of the present crisis, who will take responsibility for the likely instability and lack of governance?" he questioned.

Nepal has been witnessing political and constitutional crisis following dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in May without promulgating a new constitution.

While the government wants to conduct fresh polls to elect a new CA, opposition parties have refused to take part unless Bhattarai resigns and a national unity government is formed.

In his address Bhattarai listed progress made in the peace process as achievement of his government and assured its conclusion soon by integrating former Maoist combatants into Nepal Army.

The PM blamed Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) for dissolution of the CA over differences on ethnicity-based federalism and their unwillingness to extend its tenure.

Stating that fresh polls to elect a new CA or revival of the dissolved one based on consensus as the two ways out of the present deadlock, Bhattarai appealed for cooperation from all parties.

"Instead of being disappointed, it is the time to be alert, aware and active. This crisis is like an examination of Nepal's national leadership and its people," he said.