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Dahal to lead new govt after budget

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CHITWANA — CPN (Maoist Center) Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that he will take the leadership of a new government that will be formed soon after the budget as per the nine-point understanding reached between his party and the CPN-UML.

In a press conference organised by the Chitwan chapter of Revolutionary Journalists Association on Thursday, Chairman Dahal made it clear that it was not written agreement but was agreed by both the parties.

While marking a nine-point bargain on May 5, the then Unified CPN-Maoist had asked the ruling CPN-UML to ink a secret deal to hand over the government to UCPN-M Chairman Dahal.

He added that he was certain that the new government would be a national consensus government stressing further that such a government is necessary to implement the new constitution, expedite post- quake reconstruction projects, and resolve Tarai issue, among other pressing issues.

Dahal claimed that his party had been advocating for a national consensus government since his party was in opposition, and of late, the main opposition Nepali Congress party and the agitating Madhes-based forces had agreed to join the government led by him.

He also opined that the conflict-era cases would be resolved in line with the spirit of peace process.

In a different context, leader Dahal said that he will send a written reply to the Supreme Court tomorrow as he was summoned by the court on a contempt of court case.

He said the local body election will be held with consensus of all political parties, adding that the date for the same might be appropriate by Mid-April 2017.

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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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