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Former rebels quit coalition government

World in Brief / NEPAL

September 19, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

Nepal's onetime rebel army quit the coalition government and said it would boycott elections unless the monarchy was abolished.

The Maoists spent years fighting for control of the impoverished kingdom and joined the political mainstream after King Gyanendra was forced to give up nearly all his power last year.

The Maoists' deputy leader, Baburam Bhattarai, told 7,000 supporters in Katmandu, the capital, that the ex-rebels would go door-to-door to tell people of their grievances, leading up to a general strike next month.

Bhattarai said the group had to leave the interim government because no progress was being made on its key demands, such as abolishing the monarchy and declaring a republic.

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