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Deuba is Parliamentary leader of his party

Former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has been elected Parliamentary leader of his Nepali Congress party.

india Updated: May 21, 2006 13:34 IST

Former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has been elected the Parliamentary leader of his Nepali Congress (Democratic) party, a partner in the GP Koirala government, in a move which is expected to pave the way for the expansion of the Cabinet.

Deuba's election as the Parliamentary Party leader of his party took place yesterday.

The failure of the Nepali Congress (Democratic) to suggest names of its ministerial candidates to be included in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Koirala had resulted in postponement of the Cabinet expansion.

After Deuba's election as his party's Parliamentary leader, a source close to Koirala said the Cabinet expansion would now take place in a day or two, and the maximum number of members in it would be 21.

All the members of the ruling seven-party alliance, except the leftist Nepal Workers and Peasants Party, have decided to join the Cabinet, which currently has seven members.

The expansion would give the Cabinet a complete form and help initiate a dialogue with the Maoists at the earliest.

The government has already named Home Minister Krishna Sitoula as the coordinator of its three-member talks team.

The government would soon finalise the code of conduct to initiate dialogue with the rebels to end the decade-old insurgency in the country, the sources in the Prime Minister's Office said.

First Published: May 21, 2006 13:34 IST