Koirala to take oath as Nepal PM tomorrow

The octogenarian was appointed by King Gyanendra after weeks of anti-royal protests by the seven-party alliance.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2006 12:43 IST

Nepal's Prime Minister-designate Girija Prasad Koirala will be sworn in on Sunday following the postponement of the oath-taking ceremony due to his ill health.

84-year-old Koirala, the President of Nepali Congress party, is suffering from bronchitis because of which he skipped Friday's meeting of the country's revived Parliament, the first in four years.

Koirala, who was to take the oath of office on Friday, will now be sworn in on Sunday, Nepali Congress spokesman Krishna Sitoula said.

Though the veteran Nepali Congress leader's condition has improved, he is taking rest as per doctors' advice, Sitoula said.

Koirala was appointed Prime Minister by King Gyanendra after weeks of anti-monarchy protests in Nepal by the seven-party alliance, which unanimously proposed his name for the top post.

Meanwhile, Nepal Communist Party-UML has decided to join the all-party government to be headed by Koirala, party sources said.

It has chosen its senior politburo member K P Oli to lead the party in the new cabinet, they said.

All other members of the seven-party alliance are also expected to participate in the new government.

During yesterday's meeting of the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker Chitralekha Yadav tabled a motion, on behalf of Koirala, proposing a ceasefire with the Maoists and elections to the Constituent Assembly. The House will meet again tomorrow to discuss the motion.

Maoists, who have been fighting to topple the monarchy for over a decade, want the Constituent Assembly to re-write the Himalayan Kingdom's Constitution that is likely to strip the King off his power to sack an elected government.

Yielding to large-scale protests against his direct rule after he sacked the Sher Bahadur Deuba Government in February last year, the King ordered the re-instatement of Parliament on Monday night.

Parliament was dissolved in May 2002 after political wrangling over extending emergency powers to tackle the Maoist insurgency in the Himalayan Kingdom.

First Published: Apr 29, 2006 10:33 IST