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Republic Day observed

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KATHMANDU — President Bidya Devi Bhandari graced a special function organised at the Army Pavilion,Tundikhel to mark the Republic Day 2016 on Saturday.

VP Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Speaker Onsari Gharti, Acting Chief Justice Sushila Karki and other distinguished personalities also attended the function.

Addressing the dunction, Prime Minister Oli said today was a day of important achievement with the establishment of republic as the cornerstone of social justice and equality, and by doing away with the monarchy based on unscientific principle of supremacy by birth.

“We should take the republic day today as an epochal time when the foundation of a people-oriented and democratic system of governance was laid to build a modern Nepal”, he said.

Stating that the constitution was promulgated through the people-elected Constituent Assembly on September 20, 2015 as a result of the Nepali people’s struggle since 1951, Prime Minister Oli said the constitution is thereby a recognition of the long struggle and sacrifices by the Nepali people, and has institutionalized the achievements made through those struggles.

“The new constitution has not only granted equal rights to all Nepalis, but also guarantees socio-economic, cultural as well as political rights”.

Prime Minister Oli said, “This progress can be advanced at speed, we can strengthen the political achievements including democratic republic set up and make it prosperous.”

He also renewed his appeal to all to continue engagement in the effort to resolve the problems through dialogue and underscored the fact that differences in political views including other disagreements could be resolved through dialogue and negotiations.

ALSO READ :  Republic Day not to be observed

The Prime Minister referenced the act of beating of the mattress to clear the dust, liking it to the government’s overcoming the mega crisis emanating from the earthquake-triggered massive destruction, agitation, strikes and supply management crisis, and added it was now working to reconstruct and rebuild.

“The present government is committed to protecting and consolidating peace, democracy, social justice and equality, sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and country’s interest and self-dignity,” PM asserted.

Republic Day observed

He stressed on the need for national unity, resoluteness and extensive effort to use Nepal’s natural resources and heritages correctly, so as to usher in prosperity. He wished that all would be motivated to that end on the occasion of the Republic Day.

At the ceremony Nepal Army helicopter showered flowers and made a flyover with a banner reading ‘Republic Day, 2073’.

Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force (APF), representatives of the district development committees, municipalities, sport associations, athletes and locals made a march-past, and took out processions and parades evoking various cultures, traditions, dances and musical instruments.

On the occasion, the President among special dignitaries released pigeons taken as the symbol of peace.

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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.”

ALSO READ :  PM extends best wishes on Republic Day

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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