PM Oli reshuffles Cabinet in a bid to "fortify" govt

KATHMANDU: After almost a month of mulling over who would leave and consecutively join the council of ministers in case of a reshuffle, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has taken a decision to this effect, today.

A meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) held this afternoon finalised the names of new MPs who would be inducted to the Cabinet in place of the outgoing ministers who, according to the Prime Minister, have performed underwhelmingly.

Six incumbent ministers and three state ministers have been shown the doors while nine new faces will join the Oli-cabinet.

The outgoing ministers are Raghubir Mahaseth (Physical Infrastructure and Transport), Lalbabu Pandit (Federal Affairs and Local Development), Tham Maya Thapa (Women, Children and Senior Citizens), Chakrapani Khanal (Agriculture), Matrika Yadav (Commerce and Supplies) and Gokarna Bista (Labour, Employment and Social Securities).

Meanwhile, lawmakers who would replace the outgoing ministers after their swearing-in ceremony on Thursday are Basanta Nembang, Hridayesh Tripathi, Parbat Gurung, Ghanashyam Bhusal, Lekhraj Bhatta and Rameshwar Raya (in respective order of the list of outgoing ministers).

Additionally, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Upendra Yadav and Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Bhanubhakta Dhakal will switch roles as the reshuffle comes into effect.

Moti Dugar, Rambir Manandhar and Nawaraj Rawat have secured berth as state ministers for Commerce and Supplies, Urban Development, and Health, respectively, in the cabinet.

State Ministers Surendra Yadav, Ram Kumari Chaudhari and Dhan Bahadur Budha will no longer continue to serve the government.

The office of the president issued a notice regarding the change in cabinet late on Wednesday.

After a leg of party-meetings around the issue, the chairman duo met with President Bidya Devi Bhandari for further consultation at her office on Wednesday morning.

The meeting also decided that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will continue as the country's Prime Minister for the rest of the tenure while Co-chair of NCP (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal will be responsible for the party-related affairs as the executive chairman.

The incoming ministers will take the oath of office and secrecy amid a formal ceremony at the Office of the President early on Thursday.