Demand For Portfolios Delays Nepal Cabinet Expansion
Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ may have won the vote of confidence in parliament this week but Cabinet expansion is taking time, given the demands by alliance partners. Party leaders in the ruling coalition say there is a dispute over the number of ministries each one wants to lead. There are issues related to a package deal among the parties, including the formation of governments in provinces besides preparation of a common minimum programme of the ruling alliance. The Prime Minister met top leaders of the ruling parties over allocation of ministries on Friday evening. A breakthrough will take time, said an aide to the PM. The Nepali Congress is eyeing 10 ministries but Prachanda has already said that would be impossible as he has to accommodate other parties that voted for him during the floor test. The CPN (Unified Socialist) is demanding more than three ministerial berths and a seat in the upcoming by-elections to three constituencies. “We won’t join the government if we are not given three ministries,” senior party leader Jhalanath Khanal said. The party wants a plum portfolio such as Home or Finance. The Janata Samajbadi Party has demanded three Cabinet berths but is willing to settle for two, reports The Kathmandu Post.