Oli sworn in as Nepal Prime Minister

Veteran Communist leader K P Sharma Oli was today sworn in as Nepal's 38th Prime Minister, a day after he was elected in Parliament with support from smaller parties, even as the country is grappling with political unrest over the new Constitution. Oli, 63, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Baran Yadav at his official residence here. Prime Minister Oli also has formed a small cabinet incorporating two Deputy Prime Ministers and five ministers as he chaired his first cabinet meeting here. Bijay Kumar Gachhadar and Kamal Thapa were sworn in as Deputy Prime Ministers. The two are said to have been rewarded for their support to Oli in Parliament. Gachhadar, the president of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum Democratic, a key Madhesi party, has been allocated with the portfolio of Physical Planning and Transport while Thapa, president of Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal received the portfolio of Foreign Affairs. The five other ministers included in Oli's cabinet are Agni Kharel, Satya Na ayan Mandal, Som Pandey, Haribol Gajurel and Ram Kumar Subba. Oli, who will now have to deal with challenges like protests and blockade of a key border trade point with India over the country's new Constitution, was yesterday elected as Nepal's new Prime Minister after comfortably defeating former premier and Nepali Congress chief Sushil Koirala. In voting held in Parliament yesterday, Communist Party of Nepal - Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) chairman Oli garnered 338 votes, 39 more than the 299 that he needed to be elected as prime minister while Koirala could secure onaly 249 votes. A total of 587 members cast their votes. Lawmakers were not allowed to stay neutral during the voting. While Oli was backed by UCPN-Maoist, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic and some fringe parties; four Madhes parties in the United Democratic Madhesi Front had supported NC leader Koirala who himself became prime minister with the support from CPN-UML in 2014. (PTI)

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