Nepal PM expands cabinet, Shrestha new foreign minister
Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai today expanded his cabinet, including senior Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha as the deputy premier and foreign minister, after days of haggling over ministerial berths among the former rebels and its key Madhesi partners.world Updated: Sep 04, 2011 20:12 IST
Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Sunday expanded his cabinet, including senior Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha as the deputy premier and foreign minister, after days of haggling over ministerial berths among the former rebels and its key Madhesi partners.
57-year-old Bhattarai, who assumed office on Monday, included six ministers from his United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist and seven from United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), the five parties Madhesi alliance, whose support was crucial in getting a majority in Prime Ministerial polls on August 28.
India-educated Bhattarai had earlier appointed Madhesi leader Bijaya Gachhadar as deputy Prime Minister and home minister.
With the election of Bhattarai as Nepal's new Prime Minister, the former rebels returned to power after 27 months after the Terai-based Madhesi alliance extended crucial
support to end the political uncertainty plaguing the country.
Jhal Nath Khanal resigned as the prime minister on August 14 for failing to make "concrete" progress in the peace process.
The parliament, which was formed in 2008 after a popular election, has failed to fulfill its main function to push forward the peace process and draft a new constitution.
Averting a major constitutional crisis, Nepalese lawmakers on August 29 approved the extension of the term of the interim parliament by three months.