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Wrangling over portfolios delays cabinet expansion

KATHMANDU, Feb 22: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s efforts to expand the new cabinet failed to materialize Wednesday amid inter party wrangling over ministerial berths and delays in allocation of ministries between the partners in the ruling coalition. Oli’s plans to give full shape to the three-member cabinet were put on hold after talks between UML and the CPN(Maoist Center) held earlier in the day ended without consensus over the allocation of portfolios. 

During a meeting held at the prime minister’s residence at Baluwatar  Wednesday morning, PM Oli and Maoist Chair Dahal had agreed to form an 18-member  cabinet. But the meeting ended without agreement on allocation of ministerial portfolios. The two leaders had agreed to induct at least some ministers in the second phase on Thursday.
Leaders said the intraparty feuding in both parties over the selection of ministerial candidates was also behind the delay in cabinet expansion.

With several candidates vying to secure a place in the cabinet, both the parties are facing a big challenge choosing ministers. More than three dozen leaders are in the race to become full ministers, while several others are lobbying to state ministers, according to leaders.

Maoist and UML leaders said that some names have already been finalized. Maoist MP Ram Bahadur Thapa has been confirmed for leading the party in the new cabinet as a deputy prime minister. It is still unclear whether Thapa will also get the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Published Date: Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 | 07:53 AM

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