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18:53, 24 September 2017 Sunday
Update: 20:07, 11 September 2017 Monday

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Nepal's prime minister under fire over 'jumbo Cabinet'
Nepal's prime minister under fire over 'jumbo Cabinet'

Sher Bahadur Deuba appoints 54 ministers in bid to secure coalition partners' backing  

World Bulletin / News Desk

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba faced criticism Monday over the appointment of 54 ministers to create the largest Cabinet in Nepalese history.

The Election Commission said such a large number of appointments ahead of November’s general election violated the electoral code of conduct.

Three members of the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party were sworn-in, making the party the fifth to join the governing coalition under Deuba, 71.

Dipak Bohora took the oath as science and technology minister, Bikram Panday joined to head the Forestry Ministry while Sunil Bahadur Thapa was appointed industry minister.

Deuba, who leads Nepali Congress, the largest parliamentary party, returned to power in June after 12 years.

During previous periods in office he had appointed dozens of ministers to shore up the support of coalition partners.

The opposition Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) criticized the creation of the “jumbo Cabinet”.

Nepal has had a series of unstable coalition governments since 2006, when a 10-year civil war that had left 16,000 dead ended. Deuba’s government is tenth in the last 10 years.

None of the country’s 100 political parties have been able to garner a majority of seats in the parliament, forcing political parties to cobble together short-lived coalition administrations.

One of the poorest countries in the world, foreign-aid dependent Nepal was last month hit by devastating floods and landslides that left 150 dead and tens of thousands homeless.

Deuba’s government faces a host of challenges, including parliamentary and provincial elections in November.

Nepal has 22 government ministries but Deuba has appointed three deputy prime ministers, 27 ministers and 24 state ministers.

 


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