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Congress decides to support Maoist Center to form new govt

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Nepali Congress (NC) Wednesday has decided to support CPN (Maoist Center) for forming of the new government.

The biggest party in the parliament has formally endorsed the seven-point agreement that its leader, Sher Bahadur Deuba, forged with CPN Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal to form a new coalition government.

A meeting of the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the party held at Parliament Building on Wednesday decided to that impact. The meeting decided to lean support to Pushpa Kamal Dahal as the candidate for new prime minister.

At the beginning of the meeting, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba had read aloud the deal reached with the CPN (Maoist Center) and had requested the CWC to endorse it.

The meeting has also decided to file a no- confidence motion against Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

It is learnt that as per an understanding between the two leaders Maoist Chairman Dahal would lead the coalition government for now, and Deuba would succeed to him after some months.

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New govt likely to have 18 ministers

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KATHMANDU — The new government is likely to have 15 to 18 ministries in total as Prime mInister KP Sharma Oli is preparing to give his cabinet a full shape.

As per discussion between Prime Minister Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the government may include Madhes-based parties to make the government inclusive and have two-thirds majority in the Parliament.

According to Article 76 (9) of the constitution, the number of ministers cannot exceed 25 in the federal Cabinet. With the new constitution limiting the size of Council of Ministers to 25, the new governing team could be limited to 18 members including three state ministers. A formal decision on the matter is yet to be taken.

Speaking at a program organised in Kathmandu on Tuesday, UML leader Pradeep said: “Cabinet expansion is likely to take place on Wednesday. A few Maoist ministers will be joining the Oli government.”

“Our taskforce has recommended that the government form a 15-member Cabinet. Some of the ministries will be integrated and others scrapped.”

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Ishwor Pokhrel, Pradeep Gyawali, Rabindra Adhikari, Raghubir Mahaseth, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal and Padma Aryal are the probable ministerial candidates from the UML.

Like3wise, Maoist chair Dahal and senior CPN-MC leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa have been given the responsibility of selecting ministers from their party.

Probable ministerial candidates from the Maoist Centre include Ram Bahadur Thapa, Matrika Yadav, Pampha Bhusal, Devendra Poudel, Lekhraj Bhatta, Chakrapani Khanal, Pun, Girirajmani Pokhrel and Dev Gurung, according to the sources.

Thapa may lead the CPN-MC in the government as deputy prime minister. Yadav is being considered for appointment since he represents Madhes, Bhusal as a woman while Poudel is one of the leaders who joined the party lately. Poudel had left the Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Party to join the Maoist Centre just ahead of unification talks with the UML.

Leaders involved in discussions said the Maoist Centre could appoint up to eight ministers if the Cabinet size does not exceed 18.

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