KATHMANDU, April 9: President Bidya Devi Bhandari has appointed four former CPN (Maoist Center) leaders as ministers in the K P Oli-led cabinet.
According to a press statement issued by the Office of President, President Bhandari appointed Top Bahadur Rayamajhi (Minister for Energy), Lekhraj Bhatta (Minister for Industry), Prabhu Sah (Minister for Urban Development) and Gaurishankar Chaudhary (Minister for Labor) as per the recommendation made by Prime Minister Oli. The Office of President stated that they were appointed in accordance with Article 78(1) of the Constitution of Nepal, 2015.
All the four ministers reappointed on Friday had lost their posts as their former party, the CPN (Maoist Center), suspended them as lawmakers of the House of Representatives (HoR).
Reading out a notice in Thursday's parliament meeting, Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota said that the four ministers had been relieved of their positions as lawmakers upon the recommendation of their party. Rayamajhi was elected from Arghakhanchi, Bhatta from Kailali-4, Sah from Rautahat-3, and Chaudhary from Kailali-3 during the parliamentary elections held in 2017.
Prime Minister KP Oli is scheduled to administer the oath of office and secrecy to them today itself, according to Surya Thapa, a press aide to PM Oli.
According to Article 78 (1), the prime minister can appoint a person who is not a member of the federal parliament as a cabinet minister. However, such a person is required to obtain membership of parliament within six months of the oath-taking. Based on this constitutional provision, the four former Maoist Center leaders can remain in the Oli-led Cabinet until October.
These four leaders had decided to leave CPN (Maoist Center) and join the ruling CPN-UML as central committee members following the Supreme Court’s March 7 verdict to revive the erstwhile CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) and invalidate their merger into the Nepal Communist Party (NCP). The NCP was formed as a result of a merger between the Maoist Center and UML in 2018 following a landslide victory of the left alliance in 2017 parliamentary elections.