Top Maoist leader projects Baburam Bhattarai as next Nepal PM | world | Hindustan Times
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Top Maoist leader projects Baburam Bhattarai as next Nepal PM

A top Maoist leader today claimed the right of the former rebels to lead a new national unity government in Nepal, projecting its vice chairman Baburam Bhattarai as the Prime Minister.

world Updated: Aug 06, 2011 18:28 IST

A top Maoist leader today claimed the right of the former rebels to lead a new national unity government in Nepal, projecting its vice chairman Baburam Bhattarai as the Prime Minister.

The comments of C P Gajurel, the Secretary of Nepal's largest party UCPN-Maoist, comes amid mounting pressure on embattled Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal to quit for the failure to push forward the peace process. Khanal has announced that he would quit by August 13 if there was no "concrete" progress in the 2006 peace process, including on the crucial issue of the rehabilitation and integration of the 19,000 former Maoists' combatants.

Gajurel has ruled out the possibility of regrouping of the Maoist combatants for the purpose by next week's deadline. It is not possible to complete the regrouping of the Maoist combatants by August 13, he said in the capital. As the largest party in Parliament, now it is the turn of the Maoists to lead the government, he claimed.

He pointed out that the party has projected its vice chairman Bhattarai as the future Prime Minister. Last year, Maoist chief Prachanda had to pull out of the race to become the prime minister for the second time after he failed to get majority support of lawmakers. The Prime Minister's days are numbered, Gajurel hinted, saying he had to resign if we go by the seven-point agreement he had with the Maoist party and the five-point deal reached among the three major parties while extending the term of the Constituent Assembly, which acts as the country's interim parliament, on May 29.

He said the Maoist party has reached the conclusion that the Prime Minister should not remain in power for too long now. Another political crisis will be created if the peace process and constitution drafting is not be completed by August end, when the extended term of the Assembly expires. On May 28, the major parties had signed a deal to extend the term of the parliament for three months.