<!-- IMAGE -->Election of a new prime minister in Nepal and his selection of a
coalition cabinet mark another hopeful step in that nation's transition
to democratic government.
Nepal's constituent assembly elected Pushpa Kamal Dahal [POOSH-pah
kah-MAHL dah-HAHL] with an overwhelming majority, ending months of
political deadlock after elections in April left the Himalayan nation
with a spilt parliament. To help bridge this gap, he began naming
officials from leading parties to key posts such as ministers of
defense, finance and foreign affairs. The prime minister said
representatives from four smaller parties would join the coalition in
The new government will now start the difficult but necessary task
of drafting a new constitution, as called for in the 2006 peace
agreement that ended the country's decade-long insurgency. It must also
try to bridge ethnic and social divides and act to address energy and
food challenges facing the country.
The United States will continue its strong support for peace,
democracy, human rights and development in Nepal, and looks forward to
building upon the historic ties between the two nations.