April 13, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Prachanda breaks alliance with NC, forms 4 member cabinet with UML’s support

The Nepal Weekly
March 5, 2024

In a dramatic development Prime Minister Pushpakamal Dahal “Prachanda” Monday reshuffled his cabinet breaking its 15 month alliance with largest party in the House of Representatives, Nepali Congress. A four member small cabinet has been formed under the leadership of the CPN- Maoist Centre chairman Prachanda, according to sources close to the Maoist party. Prachanda became the Prime Minister with the support of Nepali Congress on Dec. 25, 2022.

Prachand has inducted three ministers, Hitman Tamang from Maoist Centre, Padam Giri from CPN-UML and D.P. Aryal from Rastriya Swotantra Party, according to the sources. However, the cabinet portfolio of the newly appointed ministers are not yet fixed and the remaining vacant positions of the cabinet is likely to be filled within a few days. Prachanda has kept with himself all 25 cabinet portfolios including Home, Defence, Foreign Affairs and Finance.

President Ramchandra Poudyal Monday evening administered oath of office and secrecy to the new cabinet members headed by Prachanda, President’s office said in a notice. Janata Samajwadi Party led by Upendra Yadav is likely to join the government later on.

CPN-UML has 78 seats, Maoist has 32, RSP has 20 and JSP has 12 total being 142 which is more than the minimum required no of 138 seats in the 275 member House.

As Nepali Congress did not cooperate with the Prime Minister we are forced to look for new alliance,” Ganesh Shah, secretary of CPN-Maoist told this weekly. It is learnt that the Maoist Centre had serious difference with the Nepali Congress mainly on two issues: the working style of Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat and election of the National Assembly chairman.

The rift between Maoist Centre and Nepali Congress grew after Nepali Congress leader and Finance Minister Mahat had differences with Prime Minister Prachanda over the issue of budget allocation to certain projects. Similarly, Nepali Congress President Deuba wanted to make the party’s senior leader and newly elected National Assembly member Krishna Sitaula chairman of the National Assembly, against Prachanda’s plan to appoint his party’s fellow to the key post.

Earlier, CPN-UML chairman Oli met Prachanda at Prime Minister’s quarters at Baluwatar and discussed matters relating to forming a new alliance, according to Shah. “The two leaders discussed about formation of new government future course of action and possible leftist alliance among others,” according to sources close to Baluwatar. Soon after the meeting leaders of three political parties including Prime Minister Prachanda, CPN-UML chairman Oli and Rastriya Swotantra Party Ravi Lamichhane among others held meeting at Baluwatar and discussed about the modality of new alliance and formation of the new government.