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Regmi sworn in

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi was sworn in as the chairman of the interim electoral cabinet today at Shital Niwas.

Regmi also administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newlly appointed Minister of Home and Foreign Affairs Madhav Prasad Ghimire and Minister for Labour and Transport and Law Hari Prasad Neupane. It was also announced that the interim cabinet would have 11 members.

President Ram Baran Yadav, issued an order to amend Article 158 of the Interim Constitution to remove constitutional obstacle to appoint CJ Khil Raj Regmi as the chairman of the interim electoral cabinet.

The fringe parties have been protesting at Shital Niwas against the appointment of Khil Raj Regmi, and have called for a bandh in Kathmandu from 12 to 5pm today.

The United States has become the first nation to welcome the recent development. Its embassy released a statement saying: “‘The United States commends the parties for their willingness to make the compromises necessary to achieve this important political milestone.  The formation of the Interim Council of Ministers for Elections lays a foundation for vital further action, including completing and adopting Nepal’s new constitution and holding free, fair, and inclusive national elections in June that reflect the will of the Nepali people.”

On Wednesday, the parties had announced that they had reached agreement on a deal on amending the constitution, and setting up the new government, and Regmi was almost sworn in at midnight on Wednesday but for a postponement to Thursday morning.

The CJ was at first opposed by most of the opposition parties, but the NC and the UML, but senior leaders came around to supporting the proposal because they said there was no other alternative to get Prime Minister Bhattarai to step down and pave the way for elections.

The parties had been negotiating for nearly a month after the Maoists brought out the initial proposal to get the CJ to lead an election government. But since the four main political forces wanted a ‘package deal’ that included an agreement on the rank of Maoists integrated into the army as well as the wording of a bill on truth and reconciliation, it had dragged on.

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