UML leaders battle for Cabinet positionsPrime Minister KP Oli’s plan to give full shape to his Cabinet has hit a snag with the aspiring candidates and senior leaders from his party, CPN-UML, fighting over ministerial berths.
Prime Minister KP Oli’s plan to give full shape to his Cabinet has hit a snag with the aspiring candidates and senior leaders from his party, CPN-UML, fighting over ministerial berths.
A meeting of UML senior leaders held at Prime Minister’s residence on Saturday night could not finalise the names of the candidates as senior UML leaders, including Jhala Nath Khanal, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Bam Dev Gautam and Ishwor Pokharel, wanted Prime Minister Oli to appoint their supporters as ministers. The prime minister, meanwhile, is planning to appoint new Cabinet members from a coterie of his own loyalists in the party, saying he needs “supportive team” to assist him.
Oli’s supporters Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal, Deepak Karki, Sherdhan Rai, Rameshwor Phuyal, Shreemaya Thakali and Ananda Pokharel, among others, are also lobbying personally to get ministerial positions.
Senior UML leader Khanal has recommended the names of Rajendra Pandey, Sita Giri Oli and Prem Ale in the Oli-led government. Demanding respectable share in the Cabinet, another leader Nepal has pitched the names of Pashupati Chaulagain, Yagya Raj Sunar and Prakash Jwala as new additions in the UML-led government.
The coalition partners are planning to appoint 10 more ministers based on agreement. UML sources said the leaders have reached an understanding to appoint party Vice-chairman Bhim Rawal as Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, and Bishnu Poudel as Finance Minister. Rawal, however, is said to be demanding the post of Finance Minister.
Oli, who has already inducted 18 ministers along with state ministers, is said to be preparing to appoint seven more from UML. His choices are: Shreemaya Thakali, Sherdhan Rai, Sher Bahadur Tamang, Prem Ale, Dal Bahadur Sunar, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal, Surendra Pandey, Shatrughna Mahato and Baijanath Chaudhary.
Oli also faces the challenge of accommodating the demands of coalition partners. Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal is demanding Local Development Ministry’s portfolio. Another coalition partner, Rastriya Prajatantra Party is also demanding two ministerial appointments.
Janamorcha Nepal and CPN-ML are likely to get a portfolio each. Sources said CPN-ML General Secretary CP Mainali and Janamorcha Nepal Chairman Chitra Bahadur KC are willing to participate in the government if they both get Deputy Prime Minister’s role. Oli has already appointed UCPN (Maoist) leader Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, RPP-N Chairman Kamal Thapa and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Loktantrik Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar as his deputies.
Pramod Dahal, prime minister’s press adviser, said the Cabinet will get its full shape once UML finalises the names of the party leaders joining the government.