Following years of turbulence and the end of its traditional monarchy, the newly minted Republic of Nepal swore its first prime minister into office on August 18 in Kathmandu.
The Times of India reports that former Maoist rebel Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known popularly as Prachanda, took his oath of office “in the name of the people” rather than “in the name of God” — a break from tradition that acknowledges his communist leanings.
In his mid-fifties, Prachanda was once a guerilla fighter that led the Maoists’ decade-long insurgency to abolish the monarchy.
His Communist Party of Nepal won a majority in the nation’s Constituent Assembly in April, and his swearing-in ceremony brought dignitaries from the United Kingdom and the United States.
Both countries formerly supported Nepal’s monarchy in the fight against Prachanda’s Maoists.
He lost the presidential election in July, but was elected prime minister a month later by the nation’s Constituent Assembly.
“Prachanda is now Nepal PM”
The Times of India, August 19, 2008