Seventeen Maoist ministers in Nepal resigned on Friday, saying it was time for the government to clear the way for a new one, reports said.
All Maoist ministers – 17 (10 cabinet and seven ministers of state) – were divested of their portfolios; they could enjoy some perks but would no longer have control over ministries and so would not be able to use them during elections. Nepali Congress and its allies would be the ones retaining control.
Almost three months after Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba stripped Maoist Centre ministers of their responsibilities protesting the party’s electoral alliance with the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), the third largest party has decided to quit the government.
The resignation also came following the election of some ministers to provincial assemblies which led the Maoist party to quit the government in order to make preparations for joining a provincial government, media reports said.
According to reports, after the decision announced on Thursday, the party notified PM Deuba about recalling of the ministers without a portfolio on Friday.
“Giriraj Mani Pokhrel, Minister without Portfolio (the then Health Minister) submitted the resignation letter from the Maoist Center during the cabinet meeting on Friday,” Press advisor of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Govinda Pariyar said.
Maoist leaders Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Janardan Sharma, Tek Bahadur Basnet, Girirajmani Pokhrel, Pradbhu Sah, Mahendra Bahadur Shahi, Shiva Kumar Mandal, Asha Khanal and Santa Kumar Tharu were amongst the 17 ministers.