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Nepal Prime Minister resigns over army Chief sacking

nepal_monarch_demo.jpgKATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal's Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda has resigned from the cabinet after a crisis sparked by his sacking of the country's army chief.


nepal_map_1.jpgThe Maoist-led government fired General Rookmangud Katawal on Sunday, accusing him of disobeying instructions not to hire new recruits and refusing to accept the supremacy of the civilian government.

But President Ram Baran Yadav, who hails from an opposition party and is commander-in-chief of the army, called the move unconstitutional.

"I have resigned from the cabinet," Prachanda said in a televised address to the nation.

The crisis is a huge blow to a 2006 peace pact that ended a decade-long civil war that pitted the army against the Maoists. The peace agreement ushered the Maoists into the political mainstream and they won an election last year.

Two government parliamentary allies have withdrawn from the ruling coalition to protest against the army chief's dismissal, leaving the Maoists with a thin majority and possibly leading to a confidence vote in the government.