Sunday, August 31, 2008

15 new ministers sworn in by Prachanda

Prime Minister Prachanda expanded the cabinet Sunday, inducting 15 more ministers. The new ministers were sworn-in this evening.

Of the 17 new ministers, six are from CPN (Maoist), six from CPN (UML) and one each from Janamorcha Nepal, CPN (United) and Sadbhawana Party. CPN (Marxist Leninist), which earlier had decided to join the government, opted out after it was denied its chosen portfolio - land reform.

The six Maoist ministers appointed today are: Pampha Bhusal (general administration), Hisila Yami (tourism and civil aviation), Matrika Yadav (land reform), Gopal Kiranti (culture and state reconstruction) Janardan Sharma (peace and reconstruction) and Lekhraj Bhatta (labour and transport).

Similarly, UML team in 23-member cabinet comprises Bam Dev Gautam (deputy prime minister and home minister), Bishnu Poudel (water resources), Astha Laxmi Shakya (industry), Ram Chandra Jha (local development), Kiran Gurung (forest and soil conservation) and Gopal Shakya (youth and sports).

Likewise, Giriraj Mani Pokharel of Janamorcha Nepal has been appointed as minister for health and population, CPN (United)'s Ganesh Shah as minister for science and technology and Sadbhawana Party chairman Rajendra Mahato is minister for commerce and supplies.

PM Prachanda administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed ministers at Shital Niwas, the presidential palace, amid a ceremony which was boycotted by media persons who complained that a number of them were denied passes.

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