Nepal PM faces heat from top leaders

Nepal PM faces heat from top leaders

Nepal PM faces heat from top leaders

Thousands of Maoist supporters on Sunday took to the streets as part of the nationwide strike aimed to topple the 22-party government after the Prime Minister rejected their supremo Prachanda’s demand to quit.

The Maoists, who have around 35 per cent of the seats in Parliament, want the government disbanded, followed by the formation of a new coalition government led by them to rescue the peace process and draft a new constitution.

Nepalese political leaders are struggling to meet a May 28 deadline to finish the drafting of a new constitution as stipulated by the peace process that brought the civil war to an end in 2006. Nepal’s security forces were on high alert as thousands of Maoist supporters descended onto the capital to force the Prime Minister to quit, sparking fears of clashes and chaos.

Factories, markets, schools and colleges remained closed and vehicular movement halted as thousands of Maoist cadres demonstrated in different parts of the capital, shouting anti-government slogans since early this morning.

Prime Minister Nepal has refused to resign, but he may be loosing support within his party amid reports that a memorandum has been submitted to the ruling CPN-UML chief to ask him to resign to end the crisis.


Some sixty senior leaders of the CPN-UML party, including vice chairman Bam Dev Gautam, submitted the memorandum to party chief Jhalanath Khanal demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister to create a favourable atmosphere for consensus building to prevent a confrontation in the country, “The Himalayan Times” online said on Sunday.

However, another report said that most of the lawmakers whose names were listed in the memorandum called the demand for the prime minister’s resignation “a serious conspiracy”.

Though the Maoists-led general strike was by and large peaceful in the capital, some sporadic incidents of violence occurred outside the Kathmandu valley. Three Maoist cadres were injured and seven others arrested after a clash occurred between them and some locals in southern Nepal, police said.