Nepal Prime Minister Steps Down

Nepali Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has resigned from his post on Wednesday, saying that it was time to end a months-long political deadlock that has been hounding the Himalayan nation.

Nepal said his resignation appeared to be the only viable solution to the crisis, as his bid to reach a middle ground with the opposition Maoists have failed to produce any positive result. “As it would be inappropriate to further prolong the situation of confusion and indecision, I decided to resign from the post of prime minister to help accomplish the tasks of constitution drafting and the peace process,” Nepal said in a televised message.

The Maoists, who own the largest number of parliament seats, have been calling for Nepal’s resignation and have refused to cooperate in drafting a new constitution. Nepal enjoys the support of the other parties and more than half of the 601 members of parliament, but has faced problems in carrying out his government programs due to the refusal of the Maoists to work with him.

The Maoists, who entered mainstream politics in 2006 after joining a peace process, held a general strike in May that practically shut down the country for more than one week.

Prime Minister Nepal had been in power since May 2009, taking over after the short-lived Maoist administration crumbled due to a dispute with the president.