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Maoist condition for Bhattarai’s resignation

Kathmandu, Feb. 7 (Reuters): Nepal’s Maoist party has for the first time laid down the condition on which its Prime Minister would resign, paving the way for an end to a political deadlock with Opposition parties that has paralysed one of the world’s poorest countries.

Baburam Bhattarai has agreed to step aside provided that Opposition parties accept the chief justice of the Supreme Court as the head of a unity government to oversee national elections, delegates to a party conference said today.

A former rebel leader, Bhattarai has led a caretaker government since May last year, when parliament was dissolved after failing to reach a consensus on drafting a new Constitution seen as key to Nepal’s long-term stability.

Nepal is still recovering from a decade of civil war that killed more than 16,000 people before ending in 2006. Its politics remain fractious, and recent squabbles over Bhattarai’s staying in power have sparked violent street protests.

The hope is that elections in May this year will end the deadlock.

 
 
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