Kathmandu: Nepal’s President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Tuesday called the next house session on January 9, 2023 on the recommendation of the newly formed cabinet.
CPN-Maoist Centre chairman and new Nepal Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda has formed an eight-member cabinet with three deputy Prime Ministers. The 44th Prime Minister of the Himalayan Nation took the oath of office and secrecy from President Bidhya Devi Bhandari at President’s residence Shital Niwas. President Bhandari also administered an oath to the eight ministers.
Bhandari administered oaths to Deputy Prime Ministers Bishnu Paudel, Narayankaji Shrestha, and Rabi Lamichhane. Along with the Deputy Prime Minister, Paudel also took oath as Minister of Finance, Shrestha as Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, and Lamichhane as Home Minister.
The other ministers include Damodar Bhandari, Rajendra Rai, Abdul Khan and Jwalakumari Shah.
Dahal was appointed PM for the third time after he secured the support of 169 members of the Parliament to form the new government. He served as Prime Minister of Nepal from 2008 to 2009 and again from 2016 to 2017.
Prachanda approached the President for his appointment as Prime Minister on December 25, after a coalition of six parties decided to support him to form the next government. The general elections did not produce a clear winner.
The unexpected decision came after the CPN-Maoist-ruled Centre abruptly severed ties with Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Nepali Congress party which had been in power along with its allies.
Former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) is among the parties in the new ruling coalition. Prachanda and Oli have struck an agreement to govern the country on a rotational basis, with Oli agreeing to make Prachanda Prime Minister first as per the latter’s demand.
Ironically, in 2021, it was after the Prachanda and Oli split that Sher Bahadur Deuba came to power in Kathmandu, with support from Prachanda.
In the new coalition, the CPN-UML has 78, Maoist Center 32, Rastriya Swatantra Party 20, Rastriya Prajatantra Party 14, Janata Samajbadi Party 12, Janamat Party 6 and Nagarik Unmukti Party has four MPs. Three independent lawmakers are also supporting Prachanda.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated Pushpa Kamal Dahal on being elected as Nepal’s PM. Taking to his official Twitter handle, PM Modi stated that he looks forward to working with ‘Prachanda’ to further strengthen the ‘friendship’ between India and Nepal.
PM Modi noted that the ‘unique relationship’ between the two nations is based on “deep cultural connect” and ties between people. He tweeted, “Warmest congratulations @cmprachanda on being elected as the Prime Minister of Nepal. The unique relationship between India & Nepal is based on deep cultural connect & warm people-to-people ties. I look forward to working together with you to further strengthen this friendship.”