KATHMANDU (AFP) - Nepal's Maoists stormed out of the government Friday, accusing a rival party of holding on to power after being defeated in landmark polls. "We have left the government this evening," senior Maoist and former minister Dev Gurung told AFP. "We have been compelled to submit our resignations because the prime minister is not interested in giving up his power," he said. The Maoists and the centrist Nepali Congress lead by Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala have been unable to progress on naming the Himalayan nation's first president since the monarchy was abolished more than three weeks ago. Nepal's former rebel Maoists dominate the constitutional assembly elected in April that ended the monarchy and is supposed to rewrite the constitution. "We should have been allowed to form a new government right after the election, but the Nepali Congress is trying to maintain the status quo," said Gurung. Although the former rebels had left the government, they had no intention of restarting their decade-long "People's War" that killed at least 13,000 people, the senior Maoist said. "Unless the prime minister resigns, the power-sharing deadlock cannot be resolved, but we are ready to work in consensus with the parties, and we are not leaving the peace process," he said. Filling the void left behind by the monarchy is proving a challenge for the partners in the 2006 peace deal that ended a decade of civil war and royal authoritarianism. The Maoists say they deserve to form the first republican government after winning the biggest share of seats in the 601-member constitutional assembly. But the Congress party said the ex-rebels had failed to totally give up violence, and argue that Koirala who is interim head of state should stay at the top for the time being. "Our party thinks that Koirala should be president because he is a national figure and he has done a lot to bring the conflict to a peaceful solution," Nepali Congress general secretary Ram Baran Yadav said. "The Maoists have not given up the politics of violence and intimidation, and we want to ensure their full commitment to democratic values before they can lead the government," he added.