Kathmandu: Nepal’s ruling coalition on Wednesday agreed on a power-sharing deal, paving the way for Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ to expand his Cabinet.
The top leaders of the ten ruling parties held two rounds of meetings at the Prime Minister’s official residence at Baluwatar to reach an agreement on the distribution of ministries among various political parties.
Prachanda is likely to expand his Cabinet on Thursday following the deal.
Power sharing and the distribution of ministerial portfolios had been major bottlenecks among the members of the ruling alliance as the demand for Cabinet posts was exceeding the number of ministries available, according to political observers.
Prime Minister Prachanda, Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba, and CPN-Unified Socialist president Madhav Kumar Nepal among others were present during the meeting.
“An agreement has been reached among the top leaders of the ten ruling parties in principle over the distribution of ministries,” according to sources close to the Prime Minister.
The ruling parties have also agreed on the common minimum programme presented by Prime Minister Prachanda, the sources said.
Among the ten parties, which took part in the talks on Wednesday, nine are likely to join the council of ministers.
The Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Centre will get eight and five Cabinet positions respectively while CPN-Unified Socialist and Janata Samajwadi Party Nepal will get two posts each, as per the deal.
The Maoist Centre will get five Cabinet portfolios including the post of Prime Minister, according to the agreement.
The other five political parties will get one seat each in the Cabinet. The Rastriya Swotantra Party, which has extended support to the government, will not join the government.
A final decision on this will be made on Thursday morning.
At present, there are only six Cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister and one minister of state in the Prachanda-led government, as ministers from CPN-UML, Rastriya Prajatantra Party, and Rashtriya Swotantra Party had resigned from the posts following the break up of the seven-party coalition.
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Currently, Prachanda is overburdened with about 16 ministerial portfolios, including the ministries of Home, Finance, Foreign, Industry and Commerce, Science and Technology, and Agriculture.
Prachanda was sworn in as Nepal’s Prime Minister on December 26 last year.
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