News / Asia

Nepal's Prime Minister tells VOA of Willingness to Resign

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal (L) greets fellow passengers aboard a commercial flight from Bhutan to Kathmandu, 30 Apr 2010
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal (L) greets fellow passengers aboard a commercial flight from Bhutan to Kathmandu, 30 Apr 2010

Tens of thousands of Maoists' supporters are converging on Nepal's capital ahead of a May Day rally intended to topple the government of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. In an interview with VOA News, Mr. Nepal outlined the conditions under which he is willing to resign.

Nepal's Prime Minister returned from a regional leaders' summit in Bhutan to find his government under increasing and intense pressure from the opposition Maoists.

In an exclusive VOA interview aboard the commercial flight taking him back to Kathmandu, Mr. Nepal said he is willing to leave his post if it will help expedite the peace process, including the drafting of a new constitution, which is mandated by May 28.

"If someone comes forward and there's an understanding over any questions then it's better that there be a national consensus government involving all the people," he said.

Baburam Bhattarai at news conference in Kathmandu, 30 Apr 2010
Baburam Bhattarai at news conference in Kathmandu, 30 Apr 2010

Maoist party vice chairman, Baburam Bhattarai, later told reporters the prime minister cannot set any conditions on his resignation and must dissolve what he termed the "puppet government."  

"This government has been the biggest stumbling block for a forward solution to the current problem," he said. "So if the government is really serious then it should resign unconditionally."

Mr. Nepal's replacement would certainly be a Maoist or a prime minister of their choosing. The former rebels, despite winning the last national election in 2008, quit the government last year amid a dispute over how to integrate the former armed rebels into the army. The Maoists hold the most seats in the country's parliament.

Maoist deputy Bhattarai promises peaceful rallies in Kathmandu and other sites across the country Saturday. "If any untoward incident happens that will be against the policy of the party. So we'll mobilize thousands of volunteers to control such unruly elements and ensure peace," he said.  

Prime Minister Nepal tells VOA News the army will only confront the Maoists on May Day if they threaten democracy with violence. "If there is a danger of the capturing of power and there is a danger of the violation of the peace process then the state has to perform on its responsibility [and call out the army]," he said.

Besides the unconditional resignation of Mr. Nepal, the Maoists are making other demands which they say, if not met, will result in a crippling and indefinite nationwide strike starting on Sunday.

The demands include halting a surge in consumer prices, scrapping a 1950 peace and friendship treaty with India and - in their words - "punishing the corrupt."

The Maoists fought a decade-long civil war until 2006 when a peace agreement was negotiated. That brought the Maoists into the political mainstream, leading to the formation of a democratic republic and the toppling of the country's 250-year old monarchy.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid