Maoists end protests in Nepal

Maoists end protests in Nepal

Kathmandu: Nepal’s Parliament returned to normal on Wednesday for the first time since May, after the Communist Party of Nepal ended protests that ground government work to a standstill.

Political tensions have been high since a Maoist-led government resigned in May over President Ram Baran Yadav’s refusal to sack the head of the army, General Rukmangad Katawal, who rejected incorporating former Maoist fighters into the military.

Since then, the former rebels have protested against the President in the streets and in Parliament.

“Instead of demonstrating and chanting slogans to disrupt Parliament we will try to discuss and debate the issues," said Baburam Bhattarai, a senior party leader.

But the former rebels reiterated their threat to paralyse the country with an indefinite general strike starting next month unless their demands are met. The Maoists accuse Yadav of acting unconstitutionally when he reversed the communist-led government’s decision to fire the army chief.

The communists want Yadav to admit he made a mistake and disband the current coalition government to be replaced with a national one that includes the Maoists. The decision to end the agitation came after Maoists leader Prachanda met Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal along with hardliner Maoist leader Mohan Vaidya Kiran to find a way out of the political crisis, which threatened to engulf the country in a fresh round of violence.

(PTI contributed to this story.)