Kathmandu, Nepal – Two weeks after taking the oath of office, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala expanded his cabinet on Tuesday, inducting an additional 19 ministers including a state minister, thanks to the political parties for reaching an understanding.
The cabinet expansion was hold up with the CPN-UML, a significant wing of to be formed coalition ruled out to join the government unless it got the powerful Home portfolio.
The new cabinet includes 10 members each from the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML, the second largest party in the new Assembly, which also acts as parliament. All the 19 ministers and a state Minister took the oath of office from Prime Minister Koirala in the presence of the President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, Tuesday.
The cabinet includes two Deputy Prime Ministers – CPN-UML vice president Bam Dev Gautam, who will also serve as Home portfolio and Prakash Man Singh, Nepali Congress general secretary who was also given the Ministry of Local Development.
Two women each from NC and CPN-UML were also inducted in the new cabinet.
After taking the oath of office, all the ministers said the priorities of the Koirala led coalition government would be to promulgate a new constitution within a year.
Five portfolios are also allocated for other fringe parties including Rastriya Prajatantra Party and CPN-ML, each from one Minister in the coalition.
In the meantime, inter party rift has again reportedly surfaced in two big parties NC and CPN-UML regarding the allocation of the Ministerial berth with some leaders claiming that the position was not appropriate to their colleagues. Of ten UML Minister, six are non-member of Constituent Assembly.