News / Asia

Talks Fail to Resolve Nepal's Deepening Political Crisis

Maoists rallying on May Day in Kathmandu, Nepal, 01 May 2010
Maoists rallying on May Day in Kathmandu, Nepal, 01 May 2010

Talks among Nepal's three major parties have failed to resolve a worsening political crisis. That means the largest party in parliament, the Maoists, will begin a potentially-crippling general strike Sunday that will shut down nearly all businesses nationwide.

Maoist deputy leader Baburam Bhattarai told VOA News talks with the Nepali Congress and United Marxist Leninist parties have failed because Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal will not immediately quit. "Mainly this government should first resign, then pave the way for a national unity government. But they were not prepared for that so that was the stumbling (block), so we couldn't reach to an agreement," he said.

Nepali Congress general secretary Bimalendra Nidhi, speaking to VOA, blames the Maoists for the failure of the negotiations. He said they rejected a "package solution" that would have discussed the process for integrating the former armed cadres into the Army and the looming May 28th deadline for writing a new constitution.

"They did not want the package solution. They simply wanted the resignation of the prime minister and then only they wanted to enter into other issues. That is why today's meeting could not get any result," he said.

While political negotiations were underway Saturday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets for a Maoist-sponsored May Day march and rally, demanding Prime Minister Nepal's resignation.

The beleaguered prime minister, in a nationwide broadcast, responded to the protestors, saying he would not quit. Mr. Nepal says a continuation of his government is critical at this juncture and it should not succumb to tactics of intimidation, violence and strikes.

Meanwhile, the top Maoist leader is predicting the government will yield to his party's demand to quit, within days. Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda, told VOA News he, as chairman of the United Communist party of Nepal-Maoist, will then return as prime minister. "Our party is the single largest party of the constituent assembly therefore automatically, naturally we should have every right to lead the government. And as far as the question of the individual is concerned our party has decided the chairman, himself, would lead the government," he said.

Prachanda, as prime minister last year, took the Maoists out of the government in a dispute about the leadership of the army and how to integrate thousands of former Maoist guerillas into the military.

Analysts fear if the political crisis cannot be resolved in Nepal, one of the world's poorest countries, it could lead to a resurgence of civil war.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More