Khil Raj Regmi
Kathmandu, March 14 (PTI): Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi was today sworn in as Nepal’s interim Prime Minister to head a government that will hold elections by June 21.
Regmi, 63, was sworn in as part of the eleven-point deal reached by the UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and Joint Madhesi Front yesterday during a meeting.
They also agreed to conduct polls before June 21 and to defer the date till November in case an unfavourable situation emerges.
Earlier, President Ram Baran Yadav administered oath of office to Regmi at Sheetal Niwas in the presence of top leaders from major parties. Regmi also inducted two former bureaucrats into the cabinet today.
Madhav Ghimire has been appointed minister for home and foreign affairs whereas Hari Prasad Neupane was sworn in as minister for law and justice and labour.
Regmi today attended his first cabinet meeting at the Singhdurbar Secretariat and pledged to conduct free and fair elections within the stipulated time frame.
Regmi thanked the parties for giving the cabinet the responsibility to hold elections in the transition phase.
The cabinet called on the parties to help in conducting the Constituent Assembly elections, saying that it is the only way to end the deadlock in the country.
It also requested the civil society and the media to create a conducive environment for the polls. This will be the first time in Nepali political history that a sitting Chief Justice has been named as head of government.
The appointment of Regmi ends an impasse since the last parliament’s term expired almost a year ago.
Elections set for November, 2012, were cancelled because of the political infighting. Over a dozen parties called a strike in Kathmandu valley to protest against the formation of the government under the chief justice.