Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav has nullified the decision of the Maoist cabinet to dismiss army chief General Rookmangud Katawal and has ordered him to continue in office.
The Maoist cabinet led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (AKA Prachanda) had dismissed the General and appointed Lieutenant General Kul Bahadur Khadka as acting army chief on Sunday.
Nepal’s Republica reported the President to have issued a letter to General Katawal on Sunday evening stating, “Since the dismissal of the Army Chief and the new appointment do not meet the constitutional criteria and due process, I hereby direct you to continue as the chief of the Nepali Army.”
Republica also reported Finance Minister and senior Maoist leader Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai to have said, “This is a constitutional coup against an elected government,” in reaction to the President´s letter.
Meanwhile, Nepal’s Maoist People’s Liberation Army is reported to be guarding the sites where their surrendered weapons have been stored.
Other reports have also indicated the President to have ordered General Katawal to ‘take action’ against anyone obstructing him from carrying out his duties.