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

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs