Nepal’s former TV anchor Lamichhane becomes deputy PM in Prachanda govt

Rabi Lamichhane, a former TV anchor whose newly-launched party won a surprisingly huge mandate in the November 20 elections, on Monday joined Nepal’s new government led by former Maoist rebel chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ as the deputy Prime Minister and home minister.

Lamichhane’s Rastriya Swatantra Party, which was formed just months ago, won 20 seats in the 275-member House of Representatives and is the third largest party among the ruling alliance.

Speaking to the media after the meeting of the ruling coalition at the Parliament building in Naya Baneshwor on Monday, he said that he decided to join the new government after a common agreement was made among the ruling alliance members to form a mechanism empowered to investigate corruption issues.

He said that all the ruling parties have agreed on this matter.

Lamichhane joined the office at Singh Durbar shortly after taking the oath of office and secrecy at the President’s Office, Sheetal Niwas.

Lamichhane also said that there was a common commitment to the bill of education and health among the ruling alliance members.

He also told the media about a common consensus among the ruling parties on giving the right to vote to Nepali citizens living abroad.

Checking corruption and ensuring education and health services to all Nepalis are some of the agendas put forth by his party during the election campaign.

Prachanda unexpectedly became prime minister for a third time after leaving his previous coalition and securing the support of the opposition Communist Unified Marxist-Leninist party and five other smaller groups.

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