Prez swears in new ministers after consulting Election Commission

Kathmandu, October 14

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari today administered the oath of office and secrecy to newly appointed ministers.

The president swore in Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa and ministers Jayanta Chand, Dilnath Giri and Bikram Bahadur Thapa at Shital Niwas.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba was present on the occasion.

Later, at Singha Durbar, PM Deuba administered the oath of office and secrecy to newly appointed state ministers Kunti Shahi, Bhaskar Bhadra and Sushil Shrestha in the presence of President Bhandari. Another State Minister Kanta Bhattarai, however, was not present for swearing-in as she was in the United States.

The PM is yet to assign portfolios to the new ministers and state ministers, but he has named RPP Chair Kamal Thapa as deputy prime minister.

With the induction of eight ministers from the RPP, the number of ministers in Deuba’s Cabinet has reached 64, the largest so far.

President Bhandari administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed ministers after consulting office bearers of the Election Commission, including Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav.

According to Election Commissioner Ila Sharma, the president asked the EC office bearers whether the latest expansion of the Cabinet was a violation of the election code of conduct, to which CEC Yadav replied in the negative.

According to Sharma, Yadav told the president that expanding or reshuffling the Cabinet was a political decision of the government which was not a violation of the election code of conduct. Sharma said expansion and reshuffling of Cabinet was not prohibited in the election code of conduct.

One of the election commissioners told THT that it was a mystery whether today’s meeting with President Bhandari was called by her or whether it was sought by CEC Ayodhi Prasad Yadav.

“CEC Yadav had told us that the president wanted to hold a meeting with EC office bearers, but when we met the president today, she expressed happiness at our initiative in meeting her,” the commissioner said.

According to the commissioner, the president told EC office bearers that she wanted to meet us on the occasion of Tihar along with other office bearers of constitutional bodies, but it was a matter of happiness for her that we ourselves went there to meet her.