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Nepal gets national unity government

NY Daily News: A national unity government in Nepal was sworn in on Wednesday, with seven new ministers from various parties joining the cabinet. The government was formed in order to create a new constitution after being held up for years.A Nepalese national unity government was sworn in Wednesday as Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai welcomed seven new ministers from various parties into a 20-member cabinet.

The government is expected to pave the way for a new constitution. The drafting process has been held up for years due to bickering over the electoral system, system of governance and division of provinces.

The parties said Tuesday they had resolved the disputed issues.

“We have agreed on a directly elected president and a parliament-elected prime minister, with the supremacy of the parliament,” said leftist leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.

“We can rest assured now that the constitution will be promulgated on May 27,” Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal said.

The Constituent Assembly was elected in 2008, with a mandate to draft a charter within two years. Its term was extended several times since 2010 due to the political deadlock.

Hurdles remain over with the structure of the provinces. The Himalayan nation has faced weeks of strikes in various regions where people demand autonomous states on the basis of ethnicity.

On Wednesday, transport, schools and markets were shut down in different parts of Nepal due to strikes. Violence was reported between different ethnic groups in the southern region Tuesday.

A decade-long civil war between Maoists and the government ended in 2006 with a peace pact that brought the rebels into mainstream politics.

Published Date: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 | 10:42 AM

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