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Nepal's chief justice takes oath as executive head

Kathmandu, March 14,2013( IANS) 23:42 IST
Nepal's President Ram Baran Yadav (R) observes as newly-appointed Prime Minister Khil Raj Regmi (L) administrates his oath at the Presidential House in Kathmandu March 14, 2013. Nepal's chief justice took over as the head of an interim unity government on Thursday, the country's main political parties said, a move aimed at ending a political deadlock in a nation still recovering from a decade of civil war. Regmi replaced Maoist Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai under an agreement signed by the four major political parties and will head the new administration until a national election is held in either May or June. REUTERS
Nepal's sitting Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi Thursday took oath of office as the chairperson of the Interim Election Council to hold Constituent Assembly elections by June 21.

Regmi was sworn in by President Ram Baran Yadav as the head of the interim government as a way out to end the political deadlock since the expiry of the first Constituent Assembly on May 27 last year, reported Xinhua.

Regmi further administered the oath of office to two ministers Madhav P. Ghimire and Hari P. Neupane, who were former secretaries of the government.

On Wednesday night, Nepal's political parties signed a package deal on setting up an interim government under the leadership of sitting Chief Justice Regmi.

The 11-point deal signed by the ruling and opposition parties allows Chief Justice Regmi to hold the second Constituent Assembly elections by June 21 in capacity of the chairperson of the Interim Election Council.

The chief justice has to hand over power to the government formed after the elections.
However, if the election is not held by June 21, the chief justice can remain in power until mid-December 2013.

The parties also signed another major document which proposed 25 amendments to the existing constitution to pave the way for the chief justice to lead an interim government. In the existing constitution, there is no provision for an interim election body.

Both documents (11-point agreement and 25-point ordinance for constitutional amendments) were approved by a cabinet meeting Wednesday.

The president approved the ordinance, clearing constitutional hurdles for the chief justice to lead an interim election government.

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