Maoists block election of new Nepal premier

May 18th, 2009 - 6:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, May 18 (DPA) The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Monday obstructed parliament’s regular session which was to have elected a new prime minister.
Maoist lawmakers chanted slogans and prevented attempts by the assembly chairman to present a proposal on the election as soon as parliament went into session.

Monday’s session was to elect a successor to Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the Maoist leader who resigned as premier after a power struggle with the president two weeks ago.

The Maoists also vowed to disrupt parliament and continue their street protests against President Ram Baran Yadav, who reinstated the army chief sacked by the Maoist led government.

“Our demands must be addressed before the parliament can resume its regular session,” Pushpa Kamal said in a statement. “If the political parties are willing to restore civilian supremacy, then we are ready to help form a new government.”

On Sunday, political parties led by the rival Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and the Nepali Congress said they had the required number of lawmakers to form a new government.

With the backing of 350 members from 22 parties in the 601-seat constituent assembly, CPN-UML staked its claim to form the new government.

The Maoists have prevented the constituent assembly from holding its regular session and held demonstrations across the country since the collapse of their government May 4. They say the president’s move was unconstitutional.

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