Cabinet reshuffle likely, but only after the investment summit

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 13, 2019-

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, have started discussions on Cabinet reshuffle.

Oli’s plan to remove some “underperforming ministers” and induct new faces into his Cabinet before the investment summit scheduled for March-end had been on hold after Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari died in a helicopter crash on February 27.

Preparations are under way for a Cabinet reshuffle, Dahal told journalists in Biratnagar on Tuesday. “I spoke about it with Prime Minister Oli this morning. I am coming here straight from Baluwatar,” he said.

According to Dahal, Oli had sought his opinion on the Cabinet reshuffle.

At least two party leaders who are familiar with the development told the Post that it, however, could take some time to rejig the Cabinet, as Dahal is leaving for the United States and that it could take place only after the investment summit.

Dahal is travelling to the United States on March 18 for treatment of his wife, Sita Dahal. He is expected to return after two weeks.

“I had told the prime minister that if need to reshuffle the Cabinet, both of us can sit together and take a decision. But the prime minister told me that there was no hurry as such. I told him to take a decision because it depends on the evaluation and performance he has made about his ministers,” Dahal told reporters.

A leader, requesting anonymity, told the Post that the last two weeks were tough for Oli, as two party leaders had died. Four days after the death of Rabindra Adhikari, Bharat Mohan Adhikari died at 83 while undergoing treatment.

Since the ruling party is still struggling to complete its unification process, this also has been delaying the Cabinet rejig.

For Oli, managing different factions led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and others is another challenge, which also means change in Cabinet members is not easy, a leader said.

While forming his Cabinet more than a year ago, Oli had told his colleagues to prepare one-year plan and come up with vision so that their performances could be evaluated.

“Time has come to evaluate them” another leader said.

But party spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha expressed ignorance about the discussions between Oli and Dahal about Cabinet reshuffle.

“There have not been much discussions in the party about Cabinet reshuffle, and I am also not much aware of the discussion between Oli and Dahal,” said Shrestha.

Published: 13-03-2019 07:02

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