Wednesday, July 23, 2008

First Nepal president is sworn in

Ram Baran Yadav
Mr Yadav's first task will be swearing in a new prime minister

The first president of the newly-declared republic of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav, has been sworn into office.

The largely ceremonial post was created after the abolition in May of the country's centuries-old monarchy.

Mr Yadav's appointment has provoked a fresh political crisis. The former-rebel Maoist party had backed a rival presidential candidate.

After he lost the vote, it refused to agree to form a new government, despite being the largest party in parliament.

Immediately after Mr Yadav took office, interim Prime Minister GP Koirala tendered his resignation.

Mr Koirala announced he was resigning on 26 June but was waiting for a president to be elected to hand in his notice.

A new government must now be formed.

The Maoists were expected to lead it as they won most seats in April's elections to a new constituent assembly.

But they say they are being blocked by an alliance of rival parties.

The BBC's Sushil Sharma in Kathmandu says that there is now concern that the country may be governed by a shaky alliance of parties with differing ideologies while the Maoists - with their capacity to bring supporters onto the streets - will be watching form the outside.


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