He has been prime minister four times before and now veteran politician Girija Prasad Koirala has been sworn in once again to head the Nepalese government.
King Gyanendra administered the oath of office to his long-time opponent. The monarch gave in to intense pressure from pro-democracy protesters last week by appointing the PM and reinstating parliament. Analyst CK Lal said Koirala faces a tough task: “This is one of the biggest challenges of his life because earlier he was used to doing politics where there was only one opponent – the active monarchy. “But now there are at least two opponents. One is the monarchy on the right and on the extreme left there are the Maoists. Somehow, he has to work as a bridge between the two and establish a functioning democracy.” Koirala, who is said to be in poor health, is widely perceived as a dependable pragmatist, although he is not popular with the elite. His first initiative is to propose an election for a special assembly that would draw up a new constitution, effectively deciding the future of the Nepalese monarchy.