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Nepal Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai waves with his wife Hisila Yami as they walk out from Parliament in Kathmandu

Jan 31, 2013

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Kathmandu : Nepal's Maoist Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai promised  to hold delayed elections in May, raising hopes for an end to a political stalemate that has crippled the Himalayan republic still emerging from a decade-long civil war. Noted that the A former rebel leader, Bhattarai announced the polls to a rally of 10,000 cheering, flag-waving supporters in the heart of the Nepali capital. It was a show of strength after weeks of violent street protests by opposition parties demanding the prime minister's resignation.

Nepal's parliament was dissolved in May, having failed to reach a consensus on drafting a new constitution seen as central to long-term stability. Since then, opposition parties have pressured Bhattarai to quit to pave the way for the formation of a national unity government to oversee elections. The polls had initially been set for last November, but they were deferred as opposition parties refused to cooperate, saying the dates, finalised without consulting them, were impractical.

An alliance of nine opposition parties has launched often violent demonstrations in recent weeks and clashed with the Maoists, injuring dozens. Opposition parties have vowed more protests until Bhattarai stands down. He has so far refused.

Earlier this week, opposition activists stoned the prime minister's convoy in west Nepal, while he was going to attend a party conference.

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