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Nepal: Koirala set to be PM for 4th term, Maoists say sham

Written by: Staff
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Kathmandu, Apr 25 (UNI) Thousands of people cheered and danced on the streets as Nepal's seven-party alliance today unanimously picked up octogenarian politician Girija Prasad Koirala for the post of Prime Minister and ended pro-democracy protests after King Gyanendra announced he will reinstate the dissolved parliament.

Maoist rebels denounced the king's speech as a sham and conspiracy against the spirit of the 12-point agreement.

Mr Koirala, 84, has been the Prime Minister of Nepal four times, from 1991 to 1994, from 1998 to 1999, from 2000 until 2001, and from 2006.

A meeting of the alliance, which spearheaded the agitation for restoration of democracy in the Hindu kingdom, took the decision at a meeting this morning following King Gyanendra's announcement last night.

The alliance called off its 20-day general strike that has crippled Nepal and life returned to normal in Kathmandu after almost three weeks of curfew, protests and closures. Buses and taxis were running for the first time since April 6, and mobile phone connections, cut at the height of the unrest on Saturday, were restored.

Mr Koirala's name was proposed by CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal and unanimously passed at the meeting.

The meeting also decided that the revived Parliament would move a resolution for the Constituent Assembly as soon as it reconvenes on April 28.

India has welcomed the king's decision to revive parliament and hoped that an interim government would be in place in the Himalayan kingdom in a day or two.

Reacting to the king's broadcast, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, who is in Berlin along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, hoped that all the necessary steps had been taken by Nepal for the restoration of multi-party democracy.

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