PM Intends Cabinet Expansion Following Vice-Presidential Election

After the exit of the CPN-UML, Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), and Rashtriya Swatantra Party (RSP)  from the cabinet, 16 ministries are now vacant.

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Himalaya Times
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Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' intends to expand the Council of Ministers immediately following the election of the Vice President. After the exit of the CPN-UML, Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), and Rashtriya Swatantra Party (RSP)  from the cabinet, 16 ministries are now vacant.

Discussions with alliance parties are being held on a regular basis in order to achieve an agreement on the Ministry.
The new coalition--created after the dissolution of the partnership with the UML on December 25-- includes ten parties, including the Nepali Congress, Aam Janata Party, and Nepal Samajwadi Party. Following the March 17 vice presidential election, Prime Minister Prachanda plans to expand the Council of Ministers to include those ten parties.

The Ravi Lamichhane-led RSP, that quit the cabinet despite being a member of the previous coalition, is set to rejoin the Prachanda-led administration after regaining control of the ministry it oversaw. According to reports, the RSP voted for Ramchandra Poudel, the new alliance's common presidential candidate, to serve in the cabinet with two ministries. RSP is prepared to enter the government with two ministries before the Chitwan 2 by-election.

Given that there are ten parties in the coalition and everyone seeks a piece of the allocation of ministries, there is a chance that the Maoists, who currently hold power, would lose ground when the cabinet is extended.

According to sources, Congress has also claimed all of the ministries that the UML formerly held. Yet, there is widespread consensus that the Congress will receive seven ministries as part of the government's reorganization. There will also be an additional state minister. According to sources, the Congress would be represented in the government by the three major ministries of home, finance, communication, foreign affairs, physical infrastructure, and energy.

Besides the Congress' claim to be home minister, Prime Minister Prachanda is adamant for the  appointment of the home minister by the Maoists. According to a Congress leader, Prime Minister Prachanda has promised to provide the Congress with defense, finance, and health.

From Nepali Congress, party vice chair Purna Bahadur Khadka, leader Dr. Shekhar Koirala, spokesperson Dr. Prakasharan Mahat, Bimalendra Nidhi, Dr. Shashank Koirala, NP Saud, Dhanraj Gurung, Badri Pandey, Arju Rana, Mohan Basnet, Pradeep Paudel, Sita Gurung and others are in the ministerial line.

CPN (Unified Socialist), JSP, LOSPA and Janamat Party also have a claim in one of Foreign Affairs, Energy and Communication. They will get two ministries each.

On the other hand, People's Socialist Party and Aam Janata Party have also claimed for ministry.

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