Cabinet expansion likely todayPrime Minister KP Sharma Oli plans to expand his Cabinet on Sunday by inducting leaders from his own party and other fringe forces supporting the government.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli plans to expand his Cabinet on Sunday by inducting leaders from his own party and other fringe forces supporting the government.
Oli’s aides said party leaders are discussing probable names from the CPN-UML to expand the Council of Ministers. “If everything goes as planned, the Cabinet will get full shape tomorrow,” said PM’s Press Adviser Pramod Dahal. As the feud over ministerial names gripped the UML as well as other coalition partners, Oli delayed the appointment of ministers from them. Just before Dashain, it was decided that the Cabinet would get its complete shape only after the election of the President and the Vice President. Late on Saturday evening, a meeting of senior UML leaders was under
way at the PM’s official residence in Baluwatar to decide the names.
UML sources said Oli is likely to pick party Vice-chairman Bhim Rawal as defence minister with the deputy prime minister portfolio. Deputy General Secretary Bisnhu Poudel is likely to be named the finance minister, said an aide to the PM.
Oli is said to be prepared to choose among Shreemaya Thakali, Sherdhan Rai, Sher Bahadur Tamang, Prem Ale, Dal Bahadur Sunar, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal, Surendra Pandey, Shatrughna Mahato and Baijanath Chaudhary.
Oli, who has already inducted 18 ministers along with state ministers, is preparing to appoint seven more from his party. The Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal is demanding one more ministerial berth while it has already sent Chairman Kamal Thapa and Ram Kumar Subba to the government. Another coalition partner, Rastriya Prajatantra Party is seeking two ministerial positions.
Oli, however, is likely to name only one minister from the RPP to check the Cabinet size. Janamorcha Nepal and CPN-ML are likely to get one minister each.
Sources said both ML General Secretary CP Mainali and Janamorcha Chairman Chitra Bahadur KC are willing to participate in the government if they get DPM ranks. Oli has already appointed Maoist leader Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, RPP-Nepal Chairman Thapa and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Loktantrik Chairman Bijay Kumar Gachhadar as his deputies.