KATHMANDU, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on Monday expanded his cabinet inducting four new ministers including the minister for finance and home affairs, putting the total number to seven.
Nepali President Bidhya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly-appointed ministers at a ceremony held at the Presidential Palace Sheetal Niwas in the capital, amidst the presence of top government officials and leaders from different political parties.
The new ministers sworn in include Ram Bahadur Thapa, minister for home affairs; Yubaraj Khatiwada, minister for foreign finance; Matrika Yadav, minister for industry; and Ishwar Pokharel, minister for defence.
Of the newly appointed ministers, Thapa and Yadav belong to the CPN (Maoist Center), a partner under the Oli-led coalition government. Newly appointed Defence Minister Pokharel is a leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist, UNL). The new finance minister is a veteran economist of Nepal, who had served as the governor of the central bank and the vice-chairman of National Planning Commission in the past.
The prime minister had formed a small cabinet on the day of his election on Feb. 15 inducting Lal Babu Pandit as the minister for environment and Tham Maya Thapa as the minister for women and social welfare. Pandit and Thapa both belong to the CPN (UML) party.
Nepali President Bhandari had appointed Oli, the chairman of the CPN (UML) party, as the 41st prime minister of the Himalayan nation, on Feb. 15. Oli succeeded Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepali Congress Party, who had been in power since June 7, 2017.
This is the first government elected in Nepal after the CPN (UML) emerged as the largest political party in the landmark elections held in November and December last year, which were billed as a turning point for the country.
An electoral alliance of the Oli-led CPN (UML) and the CPN (Maoist Center) had trounced Deuba-led Nepali Congress party in last year's polls, the first under the country's new constitution promulgated in 2015.