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Nepal PM Deuba expands Cabinet

Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has expanded his cabinet by inducting 19 new faces almost two months after he was elected to the post.

world Updated: Jul 26, 2017 22:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
Nepal government,Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba,Nepal Cabinet expansion
File photo of Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.(Reuters)

Nearly two months after his election as Nepal’s Prime Minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba expanded his cabinet on Wednesday by inducting 19 new faces.

When Deuba was elected the premier exactly 50 days ago, he had constituted a small six-member cabinet, with three ministers each from the Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Center.

Leaders said Deuba and the ruling coalition could not spare time to focus on expanding the cabinet because of two rounds of elections to local government bodies across Nepal on May 14 and June 28.

After Wednesday’s expansion, the size of the Cabinet has increased to 26. The 19 new faces inducted into the cabinet include 10 from the Nepali Congress, six from the CPN-Maoist Center, two from the Nepal Loktantrik Forum and one from CPN-Unified.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office to the newly appointed ministers at the President’s Office.

As envisioned by the Constitution, the executive should be inclusive and represent all sections of society, including women. Deuba’s new cabinet will have nine ministers representing the Madhes and Tharu communities, who have been campaigning for a fair and equitable share of the pie in the cabinet and other state organs.

Though women leaders have been demanding a 33% share in the cabinet, women account for less than 12% with just three ministries.

Deuba has been criticised for not expanding his cabinet for a long time in the run-up to elections to provincial assemblies and the Parliament, which will be held by January 21, 2108.

Leaders of the ruling party say Deuba could expand the cabinet again as he is holding four portfolios that could be allocated among fringe parties.

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 22:02 IST