Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari administered oath of office and secrecy to Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ at her office in the afternoon, a day after he was elected to the post by Parliament. Dahal’s takeover was not without controversy as he refused to take the oath “in the name of God, country and the people” as prescribed . He only mentioned ‘people and the country”.
Dahal administered the oath to six others — two Deputy Prime Ministers and four cabinet ministers — belonging to the Maoist Party and the Nepali Congress, in the presence of President Bhandari. Arjun Narsing K C, a senior leader of the Nepali Congress, declined to take oath in protest against Bimalendra Nidhi, a relatively junior leader, being made the Deputy PM with the charge of Home Ministry. K C was offered a cabinet rank with a choice between the Defence or Health Portfolio.
Indian PM Narendra Modi has already extended an invitation to him for a visit to Delhi. The US, while congratulating Dahal, said “It looks forward to continuing to partner with the people and government of Nepal to build a more democratic, prosperous, and stable nation…”.
China said, as Nepal’s close and friendly neighbor, it stood ready to make joint efforts with Nepal to “implement various agreements and expand mutually beneficial cooperation”. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in Beijing that China will push forward the bilateral comprehensive cooperative partnership.