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India's Prime Minister to be Sworn In for Second Term བོད་སྐད།


Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is due to be sworn in for a second term Friday, amid a dispute with one of his coalition partners over posts in his new cabinet.

The 76-year-old economist will take the oath of office later in the day, with his Congress party having won a surprisingly decisive victory in recent parliamentary elections. Congress lawmakers and their coalition partners formally re-elected him to the post earlier this week.

But one of those partners, the regional DMK party from southern India, is threatening to withdraw from the coalition. Local media reports say the party was demanding more cabinet posts than the six Mr. Singh was willing to offer. The Congress-led alliance has a large enough majority in parliament to govern without the regional party.

The prime minister is also expected to unveil his new cabinet lineup Friday. Congress party leaders said their priorities in the new government include the plight of the poor, India's security and promoting tolerance between Hindus and Muslims.

Mr. Singh is in a more commanding position since the ruling party has decided not to include communists in its coalition, unlike the last administration. It says this will give it more flexibility in pursuing its own domestic and foreign policies.

The ruling Congress Party-led alliance won 261 seats in the 543-member parliament, while its main rival, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, only won 159 seats. The rest went to a number of other small parties.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.


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