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Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli resigns

Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, also known as KP Oli, observes a minute of silence for earthquake victims during an event organised to mark the 18th National Earthquake Safety Day and the official launch of earthquake reconstruction efforts in Bungamati village, Nepal January 16, 2016. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Khatmandu: K. P. Sharma Oli, Nepal’s Prime Minister, resigned on Sunday, bringing an abrupt end to a nine-month-old government that struggled with the task of post-earthquake reconstruction. Mr. Oli resigned moments before the country’s Parliament was expected to pass a no-confidence motion.

After defending himself against sharp criticism from opposition parties, he said he would step down “to pave the way to elect a new prime minister in a changed context.” Mr. Oli made it a priority to build Nepal’s ties with China, rather than with India, signing trade and energy supply treaties in Beijing in March. Gopal Khanal, one of his foreign policy advisers, said the two countries were poised to announce new rail links during a visit to Nepal this year by President Xi Jinping of China. Mr. Oli’s government was Nepal’s eighth in the last 10 years, and its end ushered in a new round of political turmoil.