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NEPAL

Maoist minister’s resignation accepted

KATMANDU — Nepal’s prime minister has accepted the resignation of a Maoist minister who had complained of a lack of cooperation from his government partners, officials said yesterday.

“Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala accepted Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Matrika Yadav’s resignation today [Friday],” said government spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who is also a Maoist minister.

Mr. Yadav, one of the five Maoists given ministerial roles in April, submitted his resignation letter last week saying other parties in the coalition government were not cooperating and the demands of minority groups had gone unheeded.

INDIA

Former diplomat elected vice president

NEW DELHI — Former diplomat Mohammed Hamid Ansari was elected India’s vice president yesterday, easily defeating his opposition-backed rival, a senior official said.

Mr. Ansari, nominated by India’s ruling Congress party, won 455 votes, more than double the number cast for Najma Heptullah, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate, in elections in New Delhi, the official said.

Mr. Ansari, 70, was elected by India’s electoral college, which comprises 788 lawmakers from the national Parliament’s two houses.

Mr. Ansari has served as India’s representative in the United Nations as well as an ambassador to war-torn Afghanistan in the late 1990s.

From wire dispatches and staff reports