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Nepali cabinet to be expanded with 3 deputy PM

By Xinhua,

Kathmandu : Following two week’s ministerial portfolio row, three Nepali major political parties on Saturday reached a consensus to expand the cabinet by Sunday to give it a full shape, local newspaper The Rising Nepal reported on Sunday.

With the latest decision, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-leninist) (CPN-UML) ministers who abstained from the swearing-in ceremony last week will join the cabinet under the leadership of Bam Dev Gautam who will hold the second position in it.

“The cabinet will get full shape by tomorrow followed by the swearing-in on the same day,” CPN-UML general secretary Jhala NathKhanal said.

The meeting of Prime Minister and chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” with Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) leader Bijaya Kumar Gachhedar and CPN-UML general secretary Khanal also agreed to nominate three Deputy Prime Ministers, one each from CPN-M, CPN-UML and MPRF.

Home Minister-designated Gautam, CPN-M leader and Finance Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and MPRF chairman and Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav will also take the charge of the deputy prime minister post.

However, the fringe parties and the CPN-M are yet to finalize the names for ministers. Some of the fringe parties are still undecided whether to join the government.

Prime Minister Prachanda consulted with the leaders of Treai Madhesh Democratic Party (TMDP), People’s Front-Nepal (PFN) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-ML) for their inclusion in the cabinet.

TMDP has denied joining the government saying that it would support or criticize the government as per its performance.

The PFN is also failing to nominate its candidate for the post of Minister for Health and Population. “We are yet to finalize the candidate formally,” PFN general secretary Narayankajai Shrestha said.

The CPN-ML has decided to nominate Sita Khadka as Minister for Land Reform and Management.

Shrestha who was also present at the meeting with three party top brass said that the prime minister had agreed to give the portfolio of Supplies to Nepal Sadbawana Party led by Rajendra Mahato.