Deuba sworn in as Nepal’s new PM

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Sher Bahadur Deuba has become Nepal’s new prime minister, ending a long and bitter power struggle that was put to rest with a divisive ruling from the country’s Supreme Court.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office to Deuba, 75, amid a function organised at the president’s office in Kathmandu, broadcaster Nepal Television reported.

Four ministers of the new cabinet also took the oath of office during the event.

It was the fifth swearing-in as prime minister for Deuba, who is also the president of the social-democratic Nepali Congress party.

Deuba’s appointment comes a day after the country’s Supreme Court reinstated the House of Representatives and upheld the political opposition’s claim that Deuba had the necessary majority to form a government before the legislative body’s abrupt dissolution in May.

The opposition bloc launched a legal challenge after President Bhandari, who is seen as an ally of outgoing prime minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, rejected Deuba’s bid to form a government, dissolved parliament and announced snap elections.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court categorically ordered that Deuba be appointed prime minister.

Deuba will still need to win a vote of confidence in parliament within a month to show that he can command a working majority.

It is unclear whether the MPs who supported him before the dissolution of parliament would still support him now.

Despite Deuba’s appointment, there is no sign that Nepal’s political crisis will end anytime soon, however.

Supporters of the outgoing prime minister have been organising protests against the Supreme Court’s ruling around the country.

Addressing the country before leaving the office on Tuesday, Oli, who rose to power after steering a communist alliance to a landslide win in 2017, said that he would accept the verdict but came down heavily on the court, accusing the judiciary of revising the constitution and breaching its jurisdiction to dictate politics.

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