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Nepalese jubilant, Koirala to head new government

The decision came after seven-party alliance meeting in the wake of King's announcement to restore Parliament.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2006 12:45 IST

Nepal's seven-party alliance on Tuesday decided to propose Girija Prasad Koirala, leader of the largest political party, as the new prime minister and to call off the 19-day-old anti-monarchy agitation.

81-year-old Koirala, who has thrice been Nepal's prime minister, was backed by leaders of the seven political parties who held a meeting at his house on Tuesday.

The announcement came a day after King Gyanendra decided to revive parliament.

"The meeting has decided to form a new government headed by Nepali Congress President and top opposition leader Girija Prasad Koirala," said Nepali Congress central member Arjun Narsingh KC.

The alliance affirmed its road map of holding constituent assembly elections through the Parliament. The parties have held that this was required to bring changes in the constitution divesting King's powers to sack elected governments.

The Seven Party Alliance has decided to implement their road map to restore full democracy and ultimately hold the constituent assembly election to resolve the crisis, KC said.

After the Parliament is convened, it will form an all- party government, initiate a dialogue with the Maoists and start the process of holding constituent assembly election, he said.

"The new government will move ahead as per the road map of the seven party and resolve the current political crisis, including the Maoists problem," KC Said.

The meeting also decided to take action against those who were active in suppressing the agitation and, provide appropriate compensation to the families of those killed during the anti-king agitation.

The planned massive anti-King demonstrations will turn into victory procession and the top leaders of the seven parties will lead the rally and address the public meeting at different places, opposition leaders said.

Those who attended the meeting, included NC President Koirala, Nepal Communist Party-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, Nepali Congress (Democratic) President Sher Bahadur Deuba, Janamorcha Nepal Chairman Amik Serchan, Nepal Workers and Peasants Party Chairman Narayanman Bijukchhe, Nepal Sadbhavana Party-vice President Bharat Bimal Yadav and United Left Front chairman Bishnu Bahadur Manandhar.

A huge crowd had gathered outside Koirala's house since the start of the meeting.

Meanwhile, normalcy returned in Kathmandu. Mobile phone service was restored, vehicles were plying and shops were opening. Schools will open from tomorrow, authorities said.

King Gyanendra on Monday yielded to unrelenting pressure from pro-democracy movement and announced that parliament, which he dissolved in 2002, had been revived.

"We declare the reinstatement of the House of Representatives...We are confident the nation will forge ahead toward sustainable peace, progress, full-fledged democracy and national unity," he said in his brief address to the nation.

The move to restore parliament would be effective from Friday, he had said.

First Published: Apr 25, 2006 00:53 IST