Kathmandu: Nepali Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned on Wednesday in a move aimed at resolving a political crisis and saving the peace process more than a year after the end of a decade-long Maoist civil war.
“I have decided to resign with effect from today to clear the way for a political consensus,” Nepal said in a televised address.
The country’s Maoists insisted on returning to power at the head of a unity government to oversee the preparation of Nepal’s first constitution after it turned into a republic two years ago.
A moderate communist Nepal succeeded Maoist leader Prachanda as prime minister in May last year after the former warlord quit in a conflict over the control of the national army.
Since then the Maoists, who won the 2008 election for a special constituent assembly tasked to prepare a new constitution, had been pressing for Nepal’s resignation to pave the way for a national unity government headed by them.
But other political parties say the Maoists, who are the biggest political group in the assembly but lack the working majority, must dismantle their army camps before they are allowed to form a new coalition.
Maoists have so far refused to do so and the standoff forced the extension of the assembly deadline delaying the preparation of the charter until May next year.
The crisis has hit the aid and tourism dependent economy already facing long hours of power outages and a double digit inflation raising popular frustration with the government.