Nepal PM Expands Cabinet: Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Friday expanded the cabinet of the five-party ruling coalition government, three months after taking office, with 17 ministers and two ministers of state taking oath. With this, the number of ministers in the government has now increased to 25, out of which 22 are cabinet ministers and three ministers of state.
Earlier, there were only six members in the cabinet including the Prime Minister and a Minister of State. Nepal’s constitution allows only 25 ministers in the cabinet. The prime minister was unable to expand his cabinet due to lengthy discussions on power sharing between the five-party ruling coalition. The newly appointed ministers took the oath of office and secrecy in the President’s office. Prior to that, the Prime Minister had recommended the President to make him a minister.
President Vidya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed cabinet ministers. Whereas in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister administered the oath of office and secrecy to both the Ministers of State. According to the Kathmandu Post newspaper, the new appointments have become possible only after a consensus was reached among the constituents of the ruling coalition regarding the distribution of the ministerial berth.
Five cabinets of newly formed CPN-Unified Socialists, four cabinets and ministers of state of Janata Socialist Party of Madhes region and five cabinets and one minister of state of CPN-Maoist Center headed by Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda have been included in the cabinet.
Similarly, eight ministers and one minister of state are in the cabinet from the Deuba-led Nepali Congress. Sources in the President’s Office gave this information. The Home Ministry remained with Bal Krishna Khand of the Nepali Congress, while Narayan Khadka of the same party would continue to hold the command of the Ministry of External Affairs.
Minendra Rijan and Gyanendra Bahadur Karki of Nepali Congress have been given Defense and Information and Communication ministries respectively. The Finance Ministry remains with Janardan Sharma of the CPN Maoist Centre. The government consists of Nepali Congress, CPN (Unified Socialists), Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) and CPN (Maoist Centre). According to the Kathmandu Post, Deuba had come under criticism for not being able to expand the cabinet even after three months of government formation. Deuba had assumed the office of Prime Minister on 13 July after a record fifth.
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