KATHMANDU, Jan 12: At least 14 ministers out of the total of 33 in the Sher Bahadur Deuba government are still heading key ministries despite losing the elections as the formation of a new government is being delayed. With the new government expected only after the end of February, they will get a chance to lead the government for three months even after their election defeat.
With nine Maoist ministers likely to quit the government on Friday, over half the remaining 24 ministers in the Deuba cabinet will be those who lost the polls held on November 26 and December 7. Out of four deputy prime ministers, two failed to renew their representation in parliament through the fresh elections. Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa has been heading two ministries--Energy and Urban Development-despite his defeat in the parliamentary poll from Makwanpur district. Likewise, another DPM, Gopal Man Shrestha, has been heading the Education Ministry despite his loss from Syangja.
The new constitution bars those defeated in elections from being appointed ministers, though the constitution has paved the way for those who are not members of parliament to become ministers for six months. The constitution is silent on whether or not those serving as ministers at the time of losing the elections can continue in those posts.
Labor Minister Farmullah Mansoor, Health Minister Dipak Bohara, Industry Minister Sunil Bahadur Thapa, Forest Minister Bikram Pandey, Land Reform and Management Minister Gopal Dahit, Information and Communications Minister Mohan Bahadur Basnet, Agriculture Minister Ram Krishna Yadav and Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Mahendra Yadav are among those heading ministries despite their loss in the elections.
Similarly, Physical Infrastructure and Transportation minister Bir Bahadur Balayar, Law Minister Yagya Bahadur Thapa and Women and Children Minister Bikram Bahadur Thapa are also heading ministries even after being defeat in the polls. Some ministers contested under the proportional representation category.
State ministers including Sita Gurung, Sesh Nath Adhikari, Amar Sinh Pun, Dilman Pakhrin, Uday Samsher Rana and Champa Devi Khadka also lost the polls.
Political analyst Lokraj Baral said that ministers who lost the polls should resign on ethical grounds. “There are lots of ethical issues in this government. Maoist Ministers have stuck to the government even after being rendered portfolio-less after they forged a poll alliance with the opposition,” Baral added. “It's an ethical issue if ministers who lost the polls continue to lead the ministries for months.”
Gopal Man Shrestha
Sunil Bahadur Thapa
Mohan Bahadur Basnet
Ram Krishna Yadav
Bir Bahadur Balayar
Yagya Bahadur Thapa
Bikram Bahadur Thapa