Cabinet expansion most likely on Thursday

  • Constituency Delimitation Commission soon: Sources
- Post Report, Kathmandu
No decision yet on bringing Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal into the government

Jul 18, 2017-Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is likely to expand his Cabinet this week, most likely on Thursday, following which the governing parties are planning to form the Constitution Delimitation Commission (CDC). 

PM Deuba is yet to expand his Cabinet even more than a month after assuming office. 

On Monday, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, chairman of the CPN (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal, PM Deuba’s key coalition partner, and Nepali Congress (NC) leader Bimalendra Nidhi held a meeting to discuss Cabinet expansion as well as formation of the CDC, which will downsize the number of constituencies from 240 to 165, as per the constitution, for the provincial and national elections to be held by January 21 next year. 

Dahal and Nidhi have agreed not to delay the Cabinet expansion beyond Thursday, said a leader privy to the meeting, adding that a Cabinet meeting soon will also form the CDC. 

PM Deuba also has told leaders of his own party, the NC, that Cabinet expansion won’t be delayed beyond Thursday and has sought names of possible Cabinet members.

As per a tentative agreement between the ruling parties, the NC will have 12 ministries while the Maoist Centre will get eight. 

For PM Deuba, managing his own party, however, has become a challenge, as 

there are too many aspirants from various factions within the NC. 

Deuba is learnt to have asked senior party leaders like Ram Chandra Poudel, Shashank Koirala, Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Khum Bahadur Khadka to suggest names of possible ministers. 

A Congress leader said the two governing parties will divide ministries between them by Tuesday. 

Nidhi and Ramesh Lekhak from the NC and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara from the Maoist party have been tasked with dividing ministries for the two ruling parties as well as other parties who will be joining the government. 

Nepal Loktantrik Forum, whose Bijay Kumar Gachhadar is already in the government, is likely to get three ministerial berths. Prem Bahadur Singh, Hari Charan Shah, Kumar Khadka and one from Nepal Communist Party (United) are also likely to be inducted into the Cabinet. 

There has been no decision on bringing Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum -Nepal into the government, said the NC leader. The RPP is mired in a dispute over joining the Cabinet, with a section of leaders calling for staying out of the government.

Pressure has been mounting on PM Deuba to expand his Cabinet and form the CDC, as the Election Commission (EC) has been demanding a report on the constitution delimitation so that it can expedite preparations for the provincial and national elections.

Published: 18-07-2017 07:32

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