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Nepalese Prime Minister Appoints Seven-Member Cabinet


Nepal's new prime minister has appointed a seven-member Cabinet as part of efforts to restore democracy to the country and negotiate peace with Maoist rebels.

Prime Minister and leaders of Nepal's main opposition parties Tuesday, gave several key appointments to the prime minister's Nepali Congress party.

K.P. Sharma Oli was named both deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs. Oli is a leader in Nepal's second largest party, the Communist Party of Nepal.

Mr. Koirala on Sunday at the royal palace took the oath of office for his fifth term.

His Nepali Congress is one of the seven opposition parties that rallied hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets for 19 days this past month to protest King Gyanendra's absolute rule.

Maoist rebel leaders declared a unilateral cease-fire last week after Mr. Koirala assured them that parliament would begin the process of creating a new constitution and redefining the role of the country's monarchy.

The king took absolute power in February 2005, saying he had to act because elected officials were not able to control the rebels.

The rebels have been fighting for 10 years to abolish the constitutional monarchy and establish a communist state. At least 11,000 people have been killed in attacks associated with the rebellion.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters

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