Wednesday, May 31

Nepal’s Prime Minister resigns


KATMANDU, Nepal: Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal resigned on Sunday, acknowledging that he had failed to advance a stagnant peace process or agree with the opposition on a new constitution, tasks he had promised to accomplish when he was elected to his post by a parliamentary vote in February, The New York Times reports.

The prime minister and Nepal’s opposition parties have been deadlocked over how to integrate and rehabilitate more than 19,000 former Maoist rebels, a crucial sticking point that has stalled the formation of a political consensus since the end of a civil war in 2006.

Under the peace deal, an undetermined number of former rebel fighters are supposed to be integrated into Nepal’s security forces. But the other parties want the Maoists to disband the paramilitary structure of their party.

It is unclear who will succeed Khanal, with competing claims being put forth by the opposition Nepali Congress and the Maoists, who have joined the political process.

Rajendra Dahal, an adviser to President Ram Baran Yadav, said the president was issuing a notice to all political parties to form a new government on Monday.

None of the parties have a majority in Parliament, making the formation of a coalition government a necessity.