Kathmandu March 13
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal are making preparations to expand the Cabinet within a week.
The two leaders met in Baluwatar in this regard this morning.
Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, Dahal said the two discussed Cabinet expansion. “I talked to PM Oli this morning, and the Cabinet will be expanded in a few days,” said Dahal.
PM Oli also said discussions were under way with other political parties regarding Cabinet expansion. “The government will take full shape soon,” PM Oli said.
The two leaders have reached understanding. The CPN-MC will get six ministries, Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal two and the UML will have 10 ministries, including the prime minister, according to PM Oli’s Chief Adviser Bishnu Rimal.
Earlier, the two parties had agreed that the UML would get 11 ministries and the CPN-MC 7. However, they allocated one ministry each from their quota for the FSF-N.
“The number of ministries will not exceed 18. The government will not breach the constitutional provision,” Rimal told THT.
As per the constitution, the number of ministers, including state and assistant ministers, should not exceed 25.
Dahal’s Personal Secretary Jokha Bahadur Mahara said the two leaders were yet to finalise the names of ministers. “They are likely to make public the names in the eleventh hour, just ahead of the swearing in,” Mahara told THT.
According to sources, the two leaders also discussed candidates for the posts of deputy speaker, vice-chair of the National Assembly and vice-president. Candidates for the post of deputy speaker’s election have to file their nominations on Thursday, while election will be held on Friday. However, the ruling left alliance has yet to finalise the candidate. As per the understanding between the UML and CPN-MC, the UML will have the post of deputy speaker.
A version of this article appears in print on March 14, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.