AP | | Posted by Ritu Maria Johny
Nepal’s newly elected president – the third since the Himalayan nation overthrew its centuries-old monarchy in 2008 and became an independent republic – was sworn into office on Monday in Kathmandu.
Ram Chandra Poudel was elected on Wednesday by the members of the Federal Parliament and the regional assemblies. Senior officials, government officials and members of parliament have gathered to congratulate the new president at a ceremony where the military band played national anthems and saluted him.
Also read: Who is Ram Chandra Poudel, the new President of Nepal?
Outgoing President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, having completed two maximum terms in office, passed the post immediately after the swearing-in ceremony.
The president is mostly a title with little political power. But the election caused a rift among partners in the coalition government led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who took office in December after a parliamentary committee resigned from a fragile coalition government.
Dahal supported Poudel, who was also now the supreme commander of the Nepalese army, angering his main coalition partner, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), which supported Subash Chandra Nembang, his own candidate.
The party withdrew from the coalition, threatening Dahal’s administration.
Dahal has lost the support of three major political parties that were part of his first coalition government, and must seek a vote of confidence in parliament later in March to continue in power.
There is no clear explanation of why Dahal decided to support the opposition candidate and harm his alliance, but struggles for power between the main political parties are common. The country has had eight different governments in the last 10 years.
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