Nepali Maoists move to form post-royal govt | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 13, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 13, 2008

Nepali Maoists move to form post-royal govt

Ousted king asked to stay out of politics

Nepal's Maoists moved yesterday to dissolve the country's interim authority and form a new government, the day after the Himalayan nation's ousted king quit his Kathmandu palace.
Party officials said seven Maoists who hold portfolios in the interim government had tendered their resignations to pave the way for the creation of a new cabinet led by the ultra-leftists.
The country's current interim government was formed after a 2006 peace deal, but the Maoists say it has been superseded by their win in constitutional assembly elections in April.
It was the new Maoist-dominated assembly that voted May 28 to abolish the monarchy, and the former rebels say they should now form a new government.
The Maoists and the mainstream parties, however, are still at odds over power sharing -- notably who should be the country's first republican president and head of state.
"Our ministers have submitted their resignations... to put pressure on the government to end the ongoing political deadlock," a Maoist official, Barsha Man Pun, told AFP.
Another senior Maoist, Dinanath Sharma, said that "as per the people's mandate, we should get the opportunity to lead the new government," but complained that the other parties "are not willing to hand over power to us."
The move, however, does not lead to the immediate collapse of the current interim government, as the resignations were delivered to the Maoist leader Prachanda and not the prime minister and acting head of state, party officials said.
Meanwhile, Nepal's Maoists on Thursday warned the country's ousted king to keep out of politics in the new Himalayan republic, the day after the former monarch vacated his Kathmandu palace.
"He should not disturb the development of the republic, and refrain from engaging in counter-revolutionary activities," Maoist second-in-command Baburam Bhattarai told reporters.
"We don't want him to be used as a weapon for counter-revolutionary forces in this transitional and sensitive period," the top Maoist said.
A Maoist-dominated assembly voted on May 28 to abolish the country's 240-year-old monarchy, the culmination of a 2006 peace deal between the former rebels and mainstream political parties.
The ex-king, Gyanendra Shah, left his palace late on Wednesday.
In an address to the nation before he complied with an eviction order, the former king said he respected the decision to turn Nepal into a republic and that he planned to stay in Nepal to "work for the good of the country."
Gyanendra also stopped short of apologising to those killed during his reign, which was marked by a bloody crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators, and insisted he had always worked for national unity.
Local media took this as meaning Gyanendra had not ruled out an eventual return to politics.
"By choosing to quit peacefully, former king Gyanendra has kept the door open for an entry into democratic politics," an editorial in the English-language Kathmandu Post said.

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