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Maoists force Nepal PM to resign

Nepal's prime minister announced his resignation on Wednesday, bowing to pressure from opposition Maoists who have been demanding his ouster in parliament and on the streets. Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said in a televised speech that he decided to resign to end political deadlock and shore up the peace process that ended years of Maoist insurgency in the Himalayan nation.

world Updated: Jul 01, 2010 00:16 IST

Nepal's prime minister announced his resignation Wednesday, bowing to pressure from opposition Maoists who have been demanding his ouster in parliament and on the streets. Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said in a televised speech that he decided to resign to end political deadlock and shore up the peace process that ended years of Maoist insurgency in the Himalayan nation.

Tryst with power

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal (left) took over the post in May 2009 after the previous government led by the Maoists resigned. He had the support of more than half of the 601 members in the assembly.

However the Maoists, who have the largest number of seats in the assembly, refused to support him and instead staged protests demanding the disbanding of the government.

The Maoists, the former communist rebels who won the most seats in the 2008 elections, have been protesting for months demanding his resignation and a new national government headed by them.

"I had frequently urged the political parties including the Maoists to find an appropriate way out of the present deadlock and forge a consensus. But no agreement has reached so far," Nepal said.

"As it would be inappropriate to further prolong the situation of confusion and indecision, I decided to resign from the post of prime minister to help accomplish the tasks of constitution drafting and the peace process."

The prime minister took over the post in May 2009 after the previous government led by the Maoists resigned following differences with the president over the firing of the army chief. The prime minister has the support of 22 political parties in parliament and more than half of the 601 members in the assembly. However the Maoists, who have the largest number of seats in the assembly, refused to support his government and instead staged protests to demand disbanding the government.

In May, the Maoists shut down the nation for more than a week imposing a general strike.

The protests also delayed the writing of a new constitution, which was supposed to be complete by May 2010.

The deadline was extended by one year