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Koirala assumes charge

Written by: Staff

Kathmandu, Apr 30 (UNI) Nepalese Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who was sworn in this morning, reached his office at the Singhdurbar complex to officialy take over charge, shortly befor the commencement of parliament session, in which a debate on his resolution calling for a constituent assembly and a ceasefire with the Maoists was to take place.

Mr Koirala, who was absent during the first sitting of the reinstated House of Representatives on Friday due to ill-health, was also due to address the House. His resolution calling for formation of a constituent assembly and ceasefire with Maoists, which was introduced on April 28, was later to be debated in the House, which began proceedings at 1600 hrs (local time).

Earlier, Mr Koirala who is not keeping well for some time, went straight to his home after the swearing in, instead of the Singhdurbar Complex to assume charge.

In a break with established practice, the octogenarian leader, who was sworn in this morning by King Gyanendra at the Narayanhity Palace at a little after 1000 hrs (local time), did not take the oath for the controversial royal Privy Council. Before administering the oath of office and secrecy to Mr Koirala, the King was seen asking him about his health.

According to informed sources, Mr Koirala had requested the Royal Palace not to invite Rajparisad chairman Parashu Narayan Chaudhary but the latter was present on the occasion, along with Crown Prince Paras, Army Chief Lt Gen Pyar Jang Thapa and Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel.

The seven-party alliance (SPA) has called for immediate scrapping of the Rajparisad, which comprise staunch supporters of the King.

Mr Koirala's personal physician Dr Madhu Ghimire was also present during the ceremony, which has originally scheduled to take place last Friday but had been deferred after postponed twice due to Mr Koirala's ill-health.

Meanwhile, uncertainty prevailed about the swearing-in of the cabinet. Though sources had said the SPA had finalised the list, other sections said there was still disagreement about the Ministers to be inducted and the quantum of share of each of the party in the ministry. It was understood that the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML were due to get six berths each, the Nepali Congress (D) three and the Nepal Sadbhavna Party one, while two posts were to be kept for representatives of civil society.

The Nepal Janmorcha and the Nepal Peasants' and Workers' Party had declined to join the government, saying they would join the latter interim government, which would also include the Maoists.


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