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Nepal: Maoists to launch struggle if denied top posts, says Prachanda

By Shirish B. Pradhan in Kathmandu
June 02, 2008 21:49 IST
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Nepal Maoist chairman Prachanda has threatened to launch a massive agitation in the next few days if the former rebels were prevented from leading a government, by the mainstream parties in the country.

The world's last Hindu kingdom became a secular republic as Nepal's lawmakers, led by the Maoists, abolished the 240-year-old monarchy on May 28. However, bickering among the political parties over sharing of power has delayed the formation of a coalition government led by the former rebels who emerged victorious in the polls last month.

"We will have no option but to launch a struggle if the crisis were not resolved soon," Prachanda told a rally of his supporters in western Nepal on Sunday. Speaking to the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist cadres at the Gorkha Palace, the ancestral home of the former monarch, Prachanda warned of a massive stir if his party was not allowed to appoint their man to the posts of prime minister and president while forming the new government.

Meanwhile, signs of an early formation of a government faded with the country's two main political parties adamant that the Maoists cannot have their man as president as well as the prime minister. The Nepali Congress, which leads the interim government, and Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Lenin are determined to keep the Maoists from bagging both the posts.

In an apparent reference to the leaders of the mainstream parties, who were setting preconditions for the formation of the Maoist-led government, Prachanda said "petty kings" continued to hold sway in the country even after the abolition of  monarchy.

"Only the Maoists have the right to claim the posts of president and the prime minister," said Prachanda, who came to Gorkha Palace to unveil a signboard, 'Federal Democratic Republic Nepal'. 

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Shirish B. Pradhan in Kathmandu
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