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Gathabandhan to protest 10 more days in Capital

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The Sanghiya Gathabandhan (Federal Alliance), which had resorted to Kathmandu-centric protests to pressure the government to address their demands, has decided to continue its protest in Kathmandu for 10 more days, but away from Singha Durbar and Baluwatar.

The protest will be held at Mangal Bazar, New Baneshwor, Swoyambhu, Chabahil, Kirtipur, Tribhuwan University Gate, Balaju, Kalanki, Madhyapur Thimi, Asan and Lagan Tole.

Likewise, protests will be held in Birgunj on May 29 and in Pokhara on May 30.

The alliance, which staged protests outside Singha Durbar and the prime minister’s official residence in Baluwatar in the last three days, held a demonstration at Ratna Park on Wednesday.

The alliance has been seeking revision of provincial boundaries to ensure identity-based federal units, proportional inclusion of marginalised communities and equal right for women to transmit nationality to their children.

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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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