PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal announces resignation

KATHMANDU, May 24 (Xinhua) — Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal announced his resignation from the post at a special address to the nation on Wednesday afternoon.

With this, Dahal’s 10-month-long tenure has come to an end. His stint began on Aug. 4 last year following the resignation of then Prime Minister K.P Sharma Oli.

In his state address, the prime minister, who is better known as “Prachanda,” said his party will continue alliance with Nepali Congress, the largest party in the Parliament, to form the new government.

The prime minister said he stepped down from the post to pave the way for Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba to become the next prime minister of the country, honoring a pact between the Nepali Congress party and the CPN (Maoist Center) signed in August last year.

Dahal said his stint was successful on multiple fronts including holding a historic local body polls on May 14 after a hiatus of 20 years in the Himalayan nation.

Dahal said the first round of local body polls was a major step to implement the new constitution promulgated in September 2015 as well as institutionalizing the federal democratic republic secular status achieved through peoples’ long democratic struggle.

Dahal, a former rebel leader who served as the 39th prime minister of Nepal, said the post-earthquake reconstruction process has gained momentum, providing relief to tens of thousands of people during his tenure.

The prime minister said his government was successful in ending the crippling power outage which had been affecting daily life of people for years.

In his state address, Dahal claimed that his government was able to achieve economic growth of 7.5 percent, which was rare in the country’s history.

Mentioning a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Nepal and China under the Belt and Road Initiative earlier this month, the prime minister said, “Nepal has become a partner of the Belt and Road Initiative and I believe that it will greatly help to bolster socio-economic development of the country.”

The prime minister’s resignation has come just three weeks ahead of second round of local body polls slated for June 14.

“I believe that the next round of local body polls will be held in a peaceful manner like in the round that witnessed the overwhelming participation of people. I feel honored to hold such a historical local polls during my tenure,” he said.

Officials say it will take at least the next two weeks to form a new government as per the constitutional provisions.

This was the second time Dahal served as the prime minister of the Himalayan nation since his Maoist party joined the mainstream politics in 2007 after signing the peace deal with the then government, ending the 10-year armed conflict that started in 1996.

Dahal served as the prime minister for the first time from 2008 to 2009.

Dahal ended his nearly three-decade-long underground politics in 2006 when his party and other mainstream political parties launched a successful people’s movement to overthrow the former King Gyanendra Shah’s direct regime.

The Dahal-led Maoist was able to become the largest force in the Nepalese Parliament in 2009.

However, his party emerged as the third largest party in a defeat in the Second Constituent Assembly elections due to split within the party.

Dahal was born into a high Brahmin caste family on Dec. 11, 1954 in Kaski district, some 140 km west of capital Kathmandu.

A former school teacher, Dahal was once a brilliant student and gained a bachelor’s degree in agriculture.

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