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A New Leader in Nepal

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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 future.

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.

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