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Saturday, 18 March, 2000, 16:03 GMT
Nepal MPs elect new leader
Krishna Prasad Bhattarai being sworn in as Prime Minister
Former PM Bhattarai was sworn in just last May
Nepal's governing Congress Party has elected Girija Prasad Koirala as the new leader of its parliamentary party.

He is expected to be appointed as prime minister by King Birendra, in what will be the ninth government in Nepal since monarchical rule was replaced by parliamentary democracy 10 years ago.

The outgoing Prime Minister, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, stepped down on Thursday, one day before a no-confidence vote instigated by party dissidents.

Mr Bhattarai had been accused of failing to keep election promises, including giving people more security.

Tough job

Mr Koirala, who has been prime minister twice in the last eight years, led the rebellion against Mr Bhattarai, saying that he had failed to provide effective leadership and fulfil election promises.

Mr Koirala has said he will give top priority to tackling the Maoist insurgency in Nepal.

The Nepali Congress has a majority in the 205-member parliament but our correspondent in Kathmandu says Mr Koirala will not have an easy time leading the government because his party is plagued by perennial infighting.



Mr Koirala has himself been forced to step down in the past. In 1994, he called an election after dissident MPs ousted him in a crucial parliamentary vote.

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See also:

16 Mar 00 | South Asia
Nepalese PM steps down
18 Feb 00 | South Asia
Resignations spark Nepal crisis
31 Dec 98 | South Asia
Nepal: Instability breeds poverty
31 May 99 | South Asia
Bhattarai sworn in as Nepal PM
14 May 99 | South Asia
Stability key to Nepali election
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