Nepal PM Deuba struggles to expand Cabinet

Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who came to power with a rainbow coalition of several big and small parties, has begun consultations to expand his five-member Cabinet

Jul 21, 2021
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Nepal PM Deuba

Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who came to power with a rainbow coalition of several big and small parties, has begun consultations to expand his five-member Cabinet. However, he has been struggling to meet the expectation of all parties and factions that lend their support to him.

Deuba won the support of 165 lawmakers from the Nepali Congress, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), the two factions of the Janata Samajbadi Party, a section of the main opposition CPN-UML, the party of the former prime minister KP Sharma Oli, and Rashtriya Janamorcha supported Deuba.

According to a report in The Kathmandu Post, Deuba wanted a representation of all parties. However, he has also been facing pushback from the factions within his own party. Adding to the problem is the factionalism in other parties supporting him. 

The rival faction in Deuba’s own party, led by Ram Chandra Poudel, has reportedly demanded at least one deputy prime minister with the other General Secretary Shashanka Koirala, former vice-president Prakash Man Singh and senior leader Sujata Koirala vying for the post.

Deuba has also assured one Cabinet portfolio to another camp of his party led by former general secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula, according to the report. Nepali Constitution allows only 25 Cabinet ministers.

Earlier, there were talks among the alliance partners to have at the one Cabinet position for every 10 parliamentarians ratio but as the number of aspirants grew, it was changed to one for eight, the report claimed.

“Now the Janata Samajbadi Party (a coalition partner riddled with factionalism) is saying one minister for six parliamentarians,” a senior Nepali Congress leader said, making the job of Cabinet expansion even tougher.

(SAM)

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