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Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

Nepal PM threatens party pullout

By Charles Haviland
BBC News, Kathmandu

Prachanda. File pic.
Prachanda's Maoists came to power after a 10-year insurgency

Nepal's Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda has threatened to pull his party out of the government if the main opposition does not co-operate more.

Prachanda said the Nepali Congress was breaching agreements.

He also blamed "some foreign elements", among others, for hampering his government, which was formed nearly four months ago.

The Maoist party came to power through the ballot box, following 10 years of insurrection in the country.

Stinging rebukes

Only in Nepal, perhaps, would the governing party threaten to launch a "struggle" and a "revolt".

It seems that, like often before, Prachanda is speaking with one eye on party hardliners who have recently made clear their ideological differences with him; and the other on ordinary Maoist workers.

Prachanda said the Nepali Congress, which came a distant second in April's election, was refusing to "help" the government.

The Nepali Congress has indeed delivered constant stinging rebukes against the government and keeps predicting its downfall. That has soured the political atmosphere.

On the other hand, after well over 100 days in office, the Maoists have not delivered much internally.

They have not set up a promised commission on land reform; they have done nothing to stop numerous industrial stoppages caused by pro-Maoist trade unions and their youth league has engaged in sometimes deadly turf wars with that of their main coalition partner.

A new constitution is supposed to be worked out by a newly elected assembly but the Maoists recently spent many days in internal party discussions about how much the party wants to try to restrict parliamentary democracy in future.

The prime minister has charmed his hosts on a number of foreign trips and has welcomed a succession of visitors, including the UN secretary-general and the Indian and Chinese foreign ministers.

But the millions who voted Maoist in April may be wondering whether the ex-rebels know what to do with the reins of government.

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