Leaders of the two Nepalese communist parties that formed an electoral alliance and won the largest number of seats in parliamentary polls last year have agreed to merge their parties, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
The ruling Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) or the UML and a party of former Maoist rebels, late on Monday signed the deal formalising the unification, said Yogesh Bhattarai, a ruling party leader.
The two parties agreed that KP Sharma Oli, the chairman of the UML, who became prime minister last week, will lead the government for two and half years, while former rebel leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal will succeed him in the remaining term.
Under the power-sharing deal, the Maoists, who waged a 10-year war that ended in 2006, will join the coalition government this week.
The alliance won 174 seats in the 275-member federal parliament in elections held last year under the country's new constitution.