Prachanda quits as Nepal PM (Lead)

May 4th, 2009 - 5:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, May 4 (IANS) Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda Monday announced his resignation following a major row over the sacking of the army chief.
Prachanda, Nepal’s first Maoist prime minister, announced his resignation in a televised address to the nation. He blamed Nepal’s political parties and foreign powers for hindering his government.

A nearly two-month battle between the Maoists and army chief Gen Rookmangud Katawal had come to a head Sunday with the ruling party announcing the dismissal of Katawal.

But the announcement triggered widespread protests with two of the government’s own partners, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) and Sadbhavana Party deciding to quit.

A second blow came from President Ram Baran Yadav who in a late Sunday night order to the beleaguered army chief asked him to continue with his job.

Yadav, who is the constitutional head of the government as well as the supreme commander of the Nepal Army, called the dismissal order “unconstitutional, illegal and without consensus”.

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