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Madhav Nepal sworn in as prime minister of Nepal

RIA Novosti

12:2225/05/2009 NEW DELHI, May 25 (RIA Novosti) - Newly-elected Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was sworn in during a ceremony overseen by the country's president in Kathmandu.

Nepal, the former general secretary of the moderate Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), took over from former-Maoist premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who stepped down last month after the Maoist-led government collapsed.

Nepal's candidacy was backed by 350 members of the 601-seat parliament. He needed the support of 301 members to become prime minister.

The 56-year-old prime minister is expected to select his new Cabinet, which will consist of two CPN-UML ministers, within the next few hours.

The removal of Army General Rookmangud Katawal by the Maoist prime minister earlier this month is reported to have destabilized the coalition government.

However, Dahal was then involved in a power struggle with President Ram Baran Yadav, who made history last year by deposing the monarchy King Gyanendra and declaring the Constituent Assembly a federal democratic republic.

Dahal, the leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), was elected eight months ago as part of a deal with rebel members to end a 10-year civil war. Dahal resigned after Yadav reinstated the country's army chief Gen. Rookmangud Katawal, who was removed last month.

The Maoists have already refused to cooperate with the government calling Katawal's reinstatement illegal and unconstitutional.

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