Nepali PM Khanal vows to step down if peace process doesn’t progress

August 2nd, 2011 - 6:23 pm ICT by BNO News  

KATHMANDU (BNO NEWS) — Nepali Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal said on Monday that he will step down if the government fails to make concrete progress in the peace process by August 13, the Himalayan Times reported on Tuesday.

Khanal said at a press conference, which was held at his official residence after swearing in 10 new ministers, that it was his “political and moral duty” to step down if the parties fail to conclude major tasks of the peace process and forge consensus by August 13.

The prime minister conceded that the parties had failed to implement a number of agreements signed in the last four years and urged his coalition partner, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, and the main opposition, the Nepali Congress (NC), to take his appeal seriously.

The prime minister swore in 10 new ministers after Maoist ministers resigned en masse on Saturday. Khanal said it was the prerogative of the prime minister to induct new members into the government whenever he wanted and, in addition, he urged the NC, which is obstructing parliament demanding the resignation of the prime minister, and the Maoists not to go for another majority government.

Khanal was elected in February after months of political stalemate and was tasked with speeding up the drafting of the new constitution. The parliament met 17 times before choosing the new leader.

The peace process began in 2006 after the Maoists signed a peace deal with the government, ending a decade-long civil war.

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