Nepal Cabinet formed, UML refuses to take oath

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Kathmandu, Aug 22 (UNI) An eight member Cabinet has been announced by Nepal Prime Minister Prachanda including four each from the Maoists and the MJF this evening but the UML refused to take oath demanding second position in the Cabinet.

Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', in the presence of President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly nominated Ministers at the President's office Shital Niwas today.

Four new Ministers from the Maoist include Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai (Finance), Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal (Defence), Dev Gurung (Law, Justice) and Krishna Bahadur Mahara (Information and Communication) while Ministers from MJF include party chairman Upendra Yadav (Foreign Affairs), Bijay Kumar Gachhadar (Works and Transport), Jay Prakash Gupta (Agriculture) and Renu Yadav (Education).

The UML nominees refused to take oath after they demanded that their leader be given second position in the Cabinet after PM.

However, Dr Bhattarai was given the second position in the Cabinet.

The UML has decided not to join the government if it does not get the second position in the Cabinet portfolio, it is said.

Mr Prachanda is leaving for China tomorrow to attend the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. He is also scheduled to meet Chinese presient Hu Jintao during his three day visit to China.

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