Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ announced his resignation in a nationally broadcast TV address a while ago. With this the eight-month old Maoist rule has ended. This decision comes as a surprise to many while some have appreciated Dahal’s act as democratic. The Maoist party is the single largest in the Constituent Assembly that was elected in April 2008. The Maoist leader’s resignation comes in the wake of the controversy regarding the sacking of the chief of the army staff by his split cabinet yesterday. The cabinet meeting was boycotted by the alliance parter CPN UML who promptly took back its support to the government pushing it to the minority in the 600-seat constituent assembly. The cabinet decision was unilaterally taken by the Maoists. The decision was later declared unconstitutional by the President who reinstated the army chief. The Maoists have termed the President’s action as ‘constitutional coup.’ Finance Minister and senior Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has said that his party would hit the streets now demanding resignation of the President.
The President: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav issued a press statement just ahead of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation in which he said his yesterday’s decision to ask Army chief General Rookmangud Katawal to continue with post despite his dismissal by the cabinet constitutional. The President said his decision didn’t violate the constitutional provisions instead the Maoists sacked Katawal without consulting all its coalition partners in the government.