Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be sworn in for a second consecutive term Friday, following his Congress party's surprisingly decisive victory in national elections.

Congress party lawmakers formally elected Singh to return as the prime minister on Tuesday.

The party is in the process of forming a new government.  Party leaders say the priorities 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.  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 Reuters.