The election of Maoist Baburam Bhattarai as prime minister has Nepal cautiously optimistic that the country may have found a leader who can end more than two years of political deadlock.
Nepal's Maoists had pressured the prime minister to resign since he replaced their leader a year ago. As the largest party in parliament, they hope to lead the next government.
Nepal's Maoists ended a six-day general strike that had angered citizens and prompted 10,000 people to demonstrate in Kathmandu Friday. The move may signal their willingness to adopt a more conciliatory political stance.
Nepal's Maoists – former rebels who joined a peace process in 2006, won the right to govern in 2008, then resigned after a dispute a year later – say they will continue their protests until they are returned to power. The nationwide strike began Sunday.
Former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's death could undermine the fragile Nepal government, which has until May 28 to write a new constitution. Mr. Koirala loomed large in Nepal's transition from monarchy to republic after a long civil war with Maoists.