Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister Jhala Nath
Khanal on Monday inducted new ministers into his cabinet,
succumbing to pressure from Maoists, his main ally who had
threatened to pull out of the government if he failed to act
Ten ministers, including nine from the UCPN-Maoist
party, the largest party in the coalition, were sworn in the
presence of President Ram Baran Yadav, according to cabinet
Maoist Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha was sworn
in as Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister to lead the
Maoist team in the cabinet. He replaced Krishna Bahadur
Bijaya Yadav from the Terai-based Madhesi Janadhikar
Forum was also administered the oath of office and secrecy as
the Minister of Commerce and Supplies.
The Maoists party had prepared a new list to represent
the party in the government amid a power struggle and bitter
internal negotiations over the distribution of ministerial
Maoist chief Prachanda on Friday handed over the list
to replace the incumbent Maoist ministers in the government.
Maoist spokesman Dinanath Sharma had warned yesterday
that the former rebels would withdraw support to the
government if the prime minister failed to act by Monday.
The withdrawal of Maoists support would have led to
the collapse of Khanal`s administration.
The reshuffle took place despite objection raised by
main opposition Nepali Congress party and a section of CPN-UML
led by former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.
Nepali Congress has asked Khanal to implement the May
29 five-point deal reached among the three major political
parties, which includes concluding the peace process,
expediting constitution writing process, integration of the
Maoists` combatants and resignation by the Prime Minister to
pave way for a national consensus government.