Maoist Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigned on Wednesday, leaving a leadership vacuum weeks before the second round of local elections. Dahal took office only nine months ago. The municipal and village assembly vote is the first in the past two decades. The prime minister's exit from government was somewhat expected under a power-sharing deal with the Nepali Congress Party. It came earlier than predicted though after the Communist UML opposition party threatened to block Dahal's speech in parliament, saying the government had created local and municipal bodies without due legal process.