KATHMANDU, July 3: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is planning to expand his eight-member cabinet early next week, a month after his election as the head of government.
Deuba had formed small cabinet by inducting three ministers from his party Nepali Congress (NC), three from CPN (Maoist Center) and one from Nepal Loktantrik Forum (NLF) on June 7, a day after his election. Then he had delayed cabinet expansion in view of the June 28 elections.
Before inducting more ministers from his party and major ruling allay CPN (Maoist Center), Prime Minister Deuba plans to talk to Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) to include the party in the government, said an NC leader.
“The prime minister will talk to other parties outside the government including the FSFN with a view to bring them in the government before expanding the cabinet,” said NC leader Farullah Mansoor. Though FSFN voted for Deuba in the prime minister's election in parliament on June 6, FSFN didn't join the government insisting that its demands including constitution amendment be addressed first.
However, the prime minister has yet to discuss the issues with FSFN leaders and ruling coalition partners, according to his close aides. Deuba is set to visit Dhangadhi on Monday and has been mulling resuming power-sharing talks with ruling coalition partners and other parties from Tuesday.
“The coalition partners are yet to finalize how to share the ministerial portfolio among the parties. Once we reach a deal on sharing ministeries we will recommend ministers from our party,” said Maoist Center spokesperson Pampha Bhusal.
Out of the 31 ministries, NC and the Maoist Center have agreed to give 11 ministries to NC, nine to the Maoist Center, three to Bijay Gachchhadar's NLF has the remaining other to fringe parties.