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Nepal Elects Prime Minister After 17 Tries

Chairman of Communist party of Nepal (United Marxist -Leninist) Jhal Nath Khanal waves after being elected as Nepal's Prime Minister in Katmandu, Nepal. Nepal's parliament finally elected Khanal as the new prime minister in its 17th attempt since the last

Lawmakers in Nepal have finally elected a new prime minister, on their 17th attempt since the previous government resigned last year.

The parliament voted Thursday to elect Jhal Nath Khanal of the United Marxist Leninist Communist Party as the next prime minister. He won 368 votes in the 601-seat legislature.

Former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned in June under pressure from the Maoist opposition. The country's main political parties had been unable to agree on who would lead a coalition government since then, and the stalemate has delayed the drafting of a constitution.

A 2006 peace agreement ended the Maoists decade-long insurgency and allowed the former rebels to rejoin the government. They hold a majority in parliament, but do not have enough seats to governor alone.

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