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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Nepali Congress chief Deuba to form small Cabinet: Report

Sher Bahadur Deuba would have to secure majority votes in the Parliament to continue as prime minister.

By: PTI | Kathmandu |
Updated: July 13, 2021 12:07:44 pm
Sher Bahadur Deuba is likely to form a cabinet with around seven members. (Reuters Photo)

Nepal’s Opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba is likely to form a small Cabinet on Tuesday, a day after the Supreme Court directed President Bidya Devi Bhandari to appoint the Nepali Congress chief as the country’s new prime minister.

At least two senior Nepali Congress (NC) leaders told The Kathmandu Post newspaper that a small Cabinet, with around seven members, is likely to be formed when Deuba, 74, takes the oath of office on Tuesday.

“We have decided to form a small Cabinet initially,” Bal Krishna Khand, chief whip of the NC said.

“We want to form a coalition government and have asked other partners of the alliance to join the government led by Deuba,” he said.

According to an NC leader, two from the Congress and as many, or even just one, from the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) are likely to be appointed ministers.

With the Madhav Kumar Nepal faction of the CPN-UML deciding to sever ties with the Opposition alliance, Deuba may face a tough time winning the vote of confidence, the report said.

The Supreme Court on Monday overturned Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s May 21 decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and ordered the appointment of Deuba as prime minister.

The five-member Constitutional Bench led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana said that Oli’s claim to the post of prime minister was unconstitutional.

Reinstating the House yet again — the court had restored the House earlier on February 23 after Oli dissolved it on December 20 — the bench has ordered to make arrangements for holding the House meeting by 5 PM on July 18.

In its order, the constitutional bench said President Bhandari’s decision to reject Deuba’s claim to form a new government was unconstitutional.

Although the apex court’s order has paved the way for Deuba to become a new prime minister, for now, Deuba will have to secure majority votes in Parliament to survive as the prime minister for the remaining term of the 275-member House.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Oli called on President Bhandari at her official residence Sheetal Niwas on Monday after the apex court rendered their move to dissolve the House of Representatives, unconstitutional.

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