Nepal: Baburam Bhattarai projected as next PM

A top Maoist leader projected its vice chairman Baburam Bhattarai as the Prime Minister.

Kathmandu: A top Maoist leader on Saturday claimed
the right of the former rebels to lead a new national unity
government in Nepal, projecting its vice chairman Baburam
Bhattarai as the Prime Minister.

The comments of C P Gajurel, the Secretary of Nepal`s
largest party UCPN-Maoist, comes amid mounting pressure on
embattled Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal to quit for the
failure to push forward the peace process.

Khanal has announced that he would quit by August 13 if
there was no "concrete" progress in the 2006 peace process,
including on the crucial issue of the rehabilitation and
integration of the 19,000 former Maoists` combatants.

Gajurel has ruled out the possibility of regrouping of
the Maoist combatants for the purpose by next week`s deadline.

It is not possible to complete the regrouping of the
Maoist combatants by August 13, he said in the capital.
As the largest party in Parliament, now it is the turn of
the Maoists to lead the government, he claimed.

He pointed out that the party has projected its vice
chairman Bhattarai as the future Prime Minister.

Last year, Maoist chief Prachanda had to pull out of the
race to become the prime minister for the second time after he
failed to get majority support of lawmakers.

The Prime Minister`s days are numbered, Gajurel hinted,
saying he had to resign if we go by the seven-point agreement
he had with the Maoist party and the five-point deal reached
among the three major parties while extending the term of the
Constituent Assembly, which acts as the country`s interim
parliament, on May 29.

He said the Maoist party has reached the conclusion that
the Prime Minister should not remain in power for too long

Another political crisis will be created if the peace
process and constitution drafting is not be completed by
August end, when the extended term of the Assembly expires.
On May 28, the major parties had signed a deal to extend
the term of the parliament for three months.


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