11 ministers of consensus cabinet sworn in; portfolios of Maoist and NC ministers yet to be decided
Eleven ministers of the national unity government were sworn in Saturday evening.
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai administered oath of office to five ministers from the UCPN (Maoist), two from the Nepali Congress and four ministers from the Madhesi Front amid a ceremony held at the Office of the President, Shital Niwas.
Ministers sworn in today are: Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Post Bahadur Bogati, Barshaman Pun, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi and Dina Nath Sharma of the UCPN (Maoist), Krishna Sitaula and Suryaman Gurung of the Nepali Congress and Madhesi Front's Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar (Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister), Hridayesh Tripathi (Physical Planning and Works), Mahendra Yadav (Irrigation) and Raj Kishor Yadav (Information and Communication).
Sadbhawana Party chairman Rajendra Mahato has been named Health Minister could not make it to the swearing-in ceremony due the ongoing general convention of his party in Janakpur. The newly appointed ministers from the Madhesi parties had held the same portfolios in the previous cabinet. The Maoist party has continued the five ministers in the new government also.
Portfolios of the ministers from the UCPN (M) and the Nepali Congress are yet to be determined. Baluwatar sources said the portfolios would be decided once the CPN (UML) sends the names of its ministers.
UML leaders are divided over the party's participation in the Bhattarai-led government. But senior leaders ministerial candidates would be named by Sunday.
The swearing-in ceremony, which was initially scheduled for 5 pm, was delayed by hours as the NC could not pick its candidates on time. Owing to internal differences, the Deuba faction of the NC has decided to not send its representative to the government.
This is the first national unity government after the election to the Constituent Assembly. The UCPN (M), NC, UML and Madhesi Front reached a landmark deal on Thursday to install a unity government and expedite the constitution-drafting process. nepalnews.com