Asia Briefs: Nepal picks communist leader as new PM

Nepal's new leader K.P. Sharma Oli has to quell protests over the new Constitution and end a border blockade that has led to national fuel rationing, among other tasks.
Nepal's new leader K.P. Sharma Oli has to quell protests over the new Constitution and end a border blockade that has led to national fuel rationing, among other tasks.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Nepal picks communist leader as new PM

KATHMANDU • Nepal's Parliament yesterday chose communist leader K.P. Sharma Oli as prime minister, tasked with unifying the quake-hit country after a new Constitution triggered deadly protests, a border blockade and a nationwide fuel shortage.

Mr Oli of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) defeated former premier Sushil Koirala by 338 votes to 249. Mr Koirala stepped down as required by the Constitution adopted on Sept 20.

Mr Oli is tasked with quelling protests over the Constitution and ending the blockade which has led to national fuel rationing, as well as pushing ahead with reconstruction after the earthquake in April killed thousands.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Mahathir ill, so youth group launch cancelled

KUALA LUMPUR • The launch of the newly formed Malaysia Trailblazers Association (MyPerintis) yesterday was cancelled because its patron and former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was unwell.

MyPerintis founder Laurence Low Kah Guan said he was told the 90-year-old was down with fever, chest pain and coughing.

MyPerintis is a youth association established on June 30. It was launched to focus on knowledge acquisition, leadership and youth development among youth in Malaysia.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK


Newly formed pact open to other parties, says PKR

PETALING JAYA • The opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR) supreme council yesterday in a special meeting decided it will advocate for the inclusion of "like-minded" parties such as Parti Islam SeMalaysia, Parti Sosialis Malaysia and East Malaysian political parties into Pakatan Harapan.

PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali said its supreme council collectively passed a resolution to open the membership of the newly formed pact to other parties to strengthen the opposition.

The meeting was called by members questioning Pakatan Harapan's hasty formation. Mr Azmin also urged PKR's partners to stop their infighting and to resist from meddling in one another's internal affairs.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2015, with the headline 'Asia Briefs: Nepal picks communist leader as new PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe