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Nepal’s PM secures vote of confidence in Parliament

KATHMANDU, NEPAL (AP) – Nepal’s communist prime minister secured a vote of confidence in Parliament yesterday, enabling him to continue as long as he has the backing of his new coalition partners.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal got 172 votes while 89 members voted against him in the House of Representatives, the lower house of Parliament.

Dahal became prime minister in December after elections a month earlier produced no clear winner.

The first coalition government he put together fell apart after three major partners pulled out of because of differences on separate issues with Dahal.

He was forced by law to seek a vote of confidence but managed to get the support of his former rival, the Nepali Congress party, which is the largest in Parliament.

The party is now set to become a part of the new coalition government with several smaller parties.

Political turmoil and frequent changes in government are nothing new in Nepal, where eight different governments have ruled in the past 10 years.

This is Dahal’s third time in power since his group abandoned a decade-long armed revolt in which more than 17,000 people were killed and joined a United Nations-assisted peace process in 2006.

Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal walks to speak before taking the vote of confidence in Nepal’s parliament in Kathmandu. PHOTO: AP