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 Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

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