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Nepal's PM Resigns, Clearing Way for New Government


Nepalese Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has resigned, clearing the way for a new coalition government led by former communist rebels.

Mr. Koirala announced he was giving up the post Thursday in an address to Nepal's constituent assembly. The prime minister urged political parties to use consensus and unity in forming a new government.

Maoist leaders, who had been pressuring Mr. Koirala to step down, welcomed his decision. Maoists have positioned their leader, Prachanda, to become the new prime minister.

The resignation was announced a day after Nepal's political parties reached an agreement allowing lawmakers to vote on the country's future leadership, including its first president.

Nepal has been in political limbo since May, when lawmakers voted to abolish the centuries-old monarchy and establish the country as a republic.

Former communist rebels won the most seats in April's election of a new constituent assembly, but must form a coalition government with other parties.

Mr. Koirala was prime minister of Nepal for two years. His Nepali Congress party was defeated by Maoists in the April election.

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

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