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Saturday April 20, 2024

Nepal PM forms new coalition, dumps old allies

Dahal named a three-member cabinet including one minister each from the new coalition partners

By REUTERS
March 05, 2024
Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 21, 2023. — AFP
Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 21, 2023. — AFP

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal named three ministers, including one each from two opposition parties, in a new coalition on Monday, dumping the centrist Nepali Congress party which had dominated his previous government.

Dahal, a former Maoist guerrilla leader in the mountain nation lying between China and India, formed a coalition cabinet including the Nepali Congress and other smaller groups last year.But his Maoist Centre party, which is the third biggest group in the 275-member parliament, had criticised the Nepali Congress for not giving him free hand and putting “hurdles” to removing some ministers with whom he was not satisfied.

Dahal named a three-member cabinet including one minister each from the new coalition partners - the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) and the Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP). The third minister is from his own Maoist Centre party.

No portfolio was allocated to any minister for now.President Ram Chandra Paudel administered the oath of office to the new ministers, a presidential statement said.“It is clear that the prime minister himself broke the coalition with us,” said Bishwa Prakash Sharma, Nepali Congress general secretary.

But an aide to the prime minister blamed the Nepali Congress for not cooperating with him.“There were mainly policy differences that made it difficult for the prime minister to continue to work with the Nepali Congress.