Wed, Feb 20, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Nepalese prime minister agrees to quit

AFP, KATHMANDU

Nepal’s prime minister has agreed to resign to make way for the chief justice to lead the politically deadlocked country into elections by June this year, the main opposition party said yesterday.

Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai will submit his resignation to the president after the nation’s four largest parties ended a protracted stalemate by agreeing to form a unity government headed by the country’s top judge, the Nepali Congress said.

“The four major parties have agreed to appoint the chief justice as a head of the interim government which will hold elections by mid-June,” Bimalendra Nidhi, a senior Nepali Congress politician, told reporters. “We agreed on a package deal in which all major parties’ concerns were addressed. The prime minister will recommend the chief justice as his successor at a meeting with the president later today.”

Nepal emerged from 10 years of civil war in 2006, but lawmakers elected to write a new constitution failed to reach consensus on the charter amid a series of shaky coalition administrations.

Parliament was dissolved in May last year. The nation has since been run by a caretaker Maoist-led coalition which lacked the popular mandate to make important policy decisions beyond the day-to-day running of public institutions.

Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi, whose judicial responsibilities will devolve to his deputy, is expected to lead a “council of ministers” until the elections.

The idea of appointing the chief judge as the head of the interim government was proposed by the Maoist party last week.

Additional reporting by AP

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