English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Nepal’s PM to expand cabinet this week, Congress to get key ministerial portfolios including finance

Ruling party members meet in Kathmandu to finally decide portfolios

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda is all set to reshuffle his cabinet by the end of this week, ruling party leaders said.

Rajendra Shrestha, a senior leader of the ruling Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP), told India Narrative that the cabinet will be reconstituted by Saturday this week.

The cabinet  will acquire full shape as per the understanding reached among the partners in Nepal’s ten-party ruling alliance.

Shrestha of JSP said that the ten-party alliance finalized the distribution of key ministerial portfolios on Wednesday.

He said that at least eight ministerial portfolios including finance and foreign affairs will be held by the Nepali Congress, the largest party in parliament. The Congress party is expected to finalize names of leaders to become ministers shortly. A meeting of the party’s central working performance committee is taking place on Thursday for the same.

Likewise, the Maoist party will get at least five more ministries. “Prime Minister Prachanda is willing to keep the home ministry himself,” a leader of the Maoist party, told India Narrative.

According to understanding reached among the partners in the alliance, Janata Samajbadi Party will get two ministerial portfolios, Unified Socialist will get two, Loktantrik Samajbadi, Nagarik Unmukti Party and Janata Samajbadi will get one ministerial portfolios each.

The cabinet reshuffle, which was expected to be settled earlier last week, was delayed due to bickering among key partners in the ruling alliance over the distribution of ministerial portfolios.

The cabinet reshuffle is expected to boost the confidence of government, which has made several pledges including post-pandemic recovery and bringing programs to revive the national economy which is hit by global crisis including Russia-Ukraine war.

This will be first cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Prachanda after he got vote of confidence in mid-March for a second time in past four months. He was appointed as the prime minister in December 2022 in alliance with the CPN (UML) led by KP Sharma Oli after breaking an alliance with the Congress party. However, Prachanda broke alliance with the UML barely two months later and again joined hands with the Congress party in the course of presidential polls in the first week of March.

Miffed at Prachanda’s decision to lend support to Nepali Congress leader Ramchandra Poudel as the country’s president, the UML quit the government by recalling its eight cabinet ministers. Those ministerial portfolios fell vacant since then.

Prime Minister now Prachanda enjoys support of the Nepali Congress, CPN (Maoist Centre), Janata Samajbadi Party, Janamat Party and Nagarik Unmukti Party, CPN (Unified Socialist), Loktantrik Samjbadi Party and Rastriya Janamorcha.

This ten-party new alliance is an extension to the five-party ruling alliance which existed since mid-July 2021 after the ouster of the then PM KP Oli.

The five-party ruling alliance had come into existence in retaliation to Oli’s move of dissolving parliament twice in December 2020 and in May 20201.

Also Read: Nepal’s PM secures vote of confidence for a second time in three months

(Santosh Ghimire is India Narrative’s Nepal Correspondent based in Kathmandu)