On Wednesday evening, the President’s Office released the names of Nepal’s new cabinet ministers. As per the release, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister and abiding by Nepal’s constitution (Section 67, subsection 9) made the changes in some key ministerial positions. The president today administered the Oath of Office and Secrecy to the newly appointed ministers.
Who is out?
Six ministers were relieved off their responsibilities – Lalbabu Pandit (Federal Affairs and Local Development), Matrika Yadav (Industry, Commerce and Supplies), Chakrapani Khanal (Agriculture), Gokarna Bista (Labour, Employment and Social Security), Raghubir Mahaseth (Physical Infrastructure and Transport), Tham Maya Thapa (Women, Children and Senior Citizens).
Who is in?
Lalbabu Pandit has been replaced by Hridayesh Tripathi, Matrika Yadav by Lekhraj Bhatta, Chakrapani Khanal by Ghanashyam Bhusal, Gokarna Bista by Rameshwor Ray Yadav, Ragubir Mahaseth by Basanta Kumar Nembang, and Tham Maya Magar by Parbat Gurung.
Deputy Prime Minister Upendra Yadav and Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal have interchanged their ministries. Yadav has taken over the ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. His position as minister of health and population has been assumed by Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal (ex minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs).
What do the ministerial change(s) imply?
Former Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Mahaseth, often touted for his inefficiency in addressing plaguing problems regarding transport and physical infrastructure, has been replaced and the change is hailed by many.
The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, earlier headed by a woman (Tham Maya Magar), has been given to lawmaker Parbat Gurung – making the motive to replace a woman minister from the ministry of women with a man questionable.
Lal Babu Pandit, an example of excellent leadership and governance for many, has been relieved off his position, the public unsure if it is in the best interest of the nation.
Amongst all, relieving Gokarna Bista from his position has drawn the most intrigue – as per a Nepali Times report,” Bista was credited with dismantling the mafia that was fleecing Nepali workers seeking to go overseas, and was trying to safeguard worker security.”