KATHMANDU, April 15: Nepali Congress (NC) Central Working Committee member N P Saud is set to become the country’s new foreign minister. According to party insiders, Saud is scheduled to take oath of office and secrecy on Sunday.
The ruling alliance had earlier agreed to give full shape to the cabinet only after the by-election scheduled for April 23. However, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal decided to appoint Saud as foreign minister on Sunday itself as the PM is scheduled to visit India within a week.
A top leader of the ruling alliance said that the appointment of Saud as foreign minister was decided after a discussion between the leaders of Nepali Congress, Maoist Center and CPN (Unified Socialist) in Baluwatar on Saturday morning. "The absence of foreign minister has affected the preparation of Prime Minister Dahal’s visit to India. So, there has been an agreement to appoint foreign minister on an urgent basis," said the leader.
The swearing-in ceremony of Saud is scheduled for 3 pm on Sunday.
Although PM Dahal expanded the cabinet on March 31, he himself is overseeing six ministries. Those in the government say Prime Minister Dahal has been struggling to form a full cabinet due to internal tensions within the Nepali Congress (NC), which could not agree on the division of ministries.
The NC has got eight ministries in the 10-party alliance. Although the NC participated in the government with four ministers, it was earlier not able to choose the remaining four ministers and one minister of state due to the lack of internal consensus.