July 27, 2017
Finally, 50 days after assuming office, the Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba expanded his cabinet on Wednesday with 19 ministers from four political parties, thus increasing his cabinet strength to 27.
While the Nepali Congress has demanded for 33 percent women representation in the cabinet, the new expansion managed to accommodate only 11 percent.
The cabinet has 11 ministries, including one Deputy PM from the Tarai and Tharu communities.
However, according to the party leaders, there is yet another cabinet expansion that is expected to take place soon.
The expansion move has been one of the major tasks for the Prime Minister, who was under intense pressure to conduct remaining phases of local elections, amend the constitution and oversee provincial & federal elections (slated for January 2018), when he assumed the chair.
Deuba seems to have faced a strong pressure in selecting ministers for his cabinet. This became evident in his decision of changing proposed names hours before the oath ceremony on Wednesday.
According to a senior official involved in discussions on the expansion, Deuba faced challenges in maintaining balance while choosing ministries as caste, groups and region were also to be considered.
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