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Nepal's Parliament Elects New Prime Minister

Nepal’s newly-appointed prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli, left, waves to the media as he stands with other leaders of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist), also known as CPN-UML, inside the Constituent Assembly in Kathmandu, Oct. 11, 2015.

Nepal's parliament has elected Communist party leader Khadga Prasad Oli as the country's new prime minister.

Parliament speaker Subash Nemwang announced Sunday that Oli received 338 votes from the 597-member chamber, defeating his predecessor, Sushil Koirala, who received 249 votes.

Oli, 63, leads the Communist Party of Nepal - Unified Marxist Leninist, which received the support of many smaller parties, including their rival United Communist Party of Nepal Maoist.

He is tasked with quelling protests over the new constitution and ending the fuel blockade which has led to national rationing.

Protesters unhappy with the new constitution have been protesting in southern Nepal, causing highways and border points to be closed. Neighboring India, also not pleased with the constitution, has imposed an unofficial blockade, restricting fuel and other supplies to Nepal.

Some of the country's ethnic minorities, including the Tharu and Madehsi, many of whom trace their origins to India, say the new constitution has left them underrepresented in both parliament and government.

The new charter divides the country into seven new states, but opponents say they are drawn in such a way that six of them will still be dominated by entrenched ruling parties.

More than 40 people have been killed in the clashes between police and the protesters representing ethnic minorities, who say the new federal structure will leave them under-represented in parliament.