Nepal's one-month old government saw its fourth cabinet expansion today with the induction of six new ministers by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who is faced with the daunting task of sharing power among 22 coalition partners.
While three ministerial berths went to the Terai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP), two ministers were inducted from the Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF) and one from the rightist Rastriya Prajatantra Party, officials said.
The expansion that came after another round of hard bargaining by allies, fell short of giving full shape to the cabinet with some more berths still to be given to key Madhesi parties and some smaller parties yet to join the government.
Another Madhesi outfit Sadbhavana Party declined to join the government, failing to agree to the power sharing formula.
With the latest expansion, the cabinet now has 28 members, including the Prime Minister and is expected to have 40 to 45 ministers once the government gets full shape.
Sharad Singh Bhandari of MPRF was appointed Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation while Mrigendra Prasad Singh of the same party was given Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Ramchandra Kusawaha, Ganesh Nepali and Mahendra Yadav of the TMDP were sworn in as Education, Youth and Sports, and Industry ministers respectively, while Dipak Bohara of RPP was given the Forest and Soil Conservation portfolio.