There is little chance of the Cabinet being expanded even on Sunday with sharing of ministries yet to be finalized. CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) will hold discussion today to decide about sharing of ministries.
A meeting between Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli and Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal in the evening will finalize the sharing of ministries, according to a Baluwatar source. “Sharing of ministries was not finalized as was reported outside. The two chairmen will talk in the evening to finalize sharing,” the source added.
The government has decided to keep 18 ministries at the center including the PM’s Office. The two parties have roughly agreed that UML will get 10 ministries and Maoist Center seven. But the name of the ministries the parties will get and even the numbers have yet to be finalized, according to a Maoist leader.
The sharing of ministries has not been finalized yet also as PM Oli is preparing to include Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) and Hridayesh Tripathi, who won the House of Representatives (HoR) election with sun as the election symbol, in the Cabinet.
The UML standing committee meeting on Friday had decided to take initiative to bring FSFN into the government, and PM Oli has been working to that regard.
UML has offered to give one ministry to FSFN if the party were to join the government. But FSFN has sought commitment for constitution amendment before discussing about the ministry it will get.
Maoist Center, on its part, has been stating that FSFN and Tripathi should be given the ministries from UML’s share. “UML will get just eight ministries and Maoist Center seven if we do that. We have said that will not be right,” a UML leader told Setopati.
Oli was elected PM on February 15 with support of Maoist Center. Oli has not been able to expand his Cabinet further after inducting two ministers that day. PM Oli’s secretariat has said the Cabinet will be expanded by Monday.