Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08KATHMANDU83
2008-01-18 12:08:00
SECRET
Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

NEPAL: PRIME MINISTER KOIRALA EXPANDS CABINET

Tags:  PREL PGOV PINR NP 
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 KATHMANDU 000083 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/18/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR NP
SUBJECT: NEPAL: PRIME MINISTER KOIRALA EXPANDS CABINET

REF: KATHMANDU 39

Classified By: DCM Randy W. Berry. Reasons 1.4 (b/d).

Summary
-------

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 KATHMANDU 000083

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/18/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR NP
SUBJECT: NEPAL: PRIME MINISTER KOIRALA EXPANDS CABINET

REF: KATHMANDU 39

Classified By: DCM Randy W. Berry. Reasons 1.4 (b/d).

Summary
--------------


1. (C) On January 10, Prime Minister G.P. Koirala expanded
his cabinet by eight ministers drawn from the Nepali Congress
Party (NC),the Communist Party of Nepal - United Marxist
Leninist (UML),and the Maoists. Koirala appointed his
controversial daughter Sujata as Minister Without Portfolio.
The Prime Minister kept Home Minister Sitaula in place but
appointed a Madhesi as Sitaula's deputy.

Koirala Expands Cabinet
--------------


2. (U) On January 10, Prime Minister G.P. Koirala inducted
two full ministers and five state ministers into his cabinet.
He also promoted one state minister to the post of full
minister in the cabinet. Four of the new ministers are from
the Nepali Congress Party (NC). One new minister and the
promoted minister are from the Communist Party of Nepal -
United Marxist Leninist (UML). Two are from the Communist
Party of Nepal (Maoist). Two are Madhesi. With the
additions, the cabinet consists of 31 members.

Portfolios of New Ministers
--------------


3. (U) The portfolios of the new ministers are as follows:

-- Ram Chandra Yadav- Minister for General Administration
(UML)

-- Sujata Koirala- Minister Without Portfolio (NC)

-- Farmullah Mansoor- Minister for Environment, Science and
Technology (NC)

-- Ram Kumar Chaudhary- State Minister for Home Affairs (NC)

-- Mahalaxmi Aryal Upadhyaya- State Minister for Water
Resources (NC)

-- Nagendra Chaudhary- State Minister for Agriculture and
Cooperatives (UML)

-- Padam Bahadur Rai- State Minister for Physical Planning
and Works (Maoist)

-- Nabin Kumar Bishwokarma- State Minister for Local
Development (Maoist)

Ram Chandra Yadav, Minister of General Administration
-------------- --------------


4. (U) Ram Chandra Yadav was promoted to Minister of General
Administration. He has served in the interim cabinet of G.P.
Koirala since April 1, 2007 as a state minister with the same
portfolio. Yadav was elected to Parliament from Siraha

District on the UML ticket in 1999. He was a member of the
Communist Party of Nepal (Manandhar) before joining the UML
in 1992. Yadav was born on October 22, 1961 in Siraha
District and is a high school graduate with a specialty in
science. He is married and has three sons and two daughters.
Yadav is a Madhesi from the Terai. He does not speak
English.

Sujata Koirala, Minister Without Portfolio
--------------


5. (C) Sujata Koirala, daughter and only child of Prime
Minister G.P. Koirala, received her first cabinet appointment
as Minister Without Portfolio and is to oversee the Prime
Minister's Office and Cabinet Secretariat. She is a

KATHMANDU 00000083 002 OF 003


nominated member of the Interim Parliament. Koirala's
temper, open support for the monarchy, and alleged corruption
have made her a controversial figure. Koirala was elected to
the Central Committee of the NC in September 2005. She was
appointed Chief of the Foreign Affairs Department of the
party in October 2005. She is the founding President of
Sushma Koirala Memorial Trust, a non-governmental
organization established in the name of her late mother.
Sujata Koirala was born on September 25, 1954 in Biratnagar,
Morang District. She studied textile design in New Delhi,
India. Koirala is separated from her German husband, who
lives in Germany. She has a son and a daughter. Her
daughter is married to a Bangladeshi.

Farmullah Mansoor, Minister of Environment, Science and
Technology
-------------- --------------


6. (U) Farmullah Mansoor was appointed Minister of
Environment, Science and Technology. He replaces Mahanta
Thakur, who quit the cabinet, Parliament, and NC in December
to form the Terai-Madhes Democratic Party. Mansoor was
elected to Parliament from Bara District on the NC ticket in
the mid-term polls of 1994 and in the general election of

1999. Mansoor began his political career in 1971 with the
NC. He served a two-year jail sentence on political grounds
during the Panchayat regime. Mansoor was born on December 5,
1954 in Bara District. He completed high school. Mansoor, a
Muslim, is unmarried.

Ram Kumar Chaudhari, State Minister of Home Affairs
-------------- --------------


7. (U) Ram Kumar Chaudhari, State Minister for Home Affairs,
is an NC member of Parliament of Madhesi origin. He was
elected for the first time in 1999 from Saptari District.
Chaudhari previously served as District President of the NC.
He started his political career in 1972 as a student leader
and later served a three-year jail sentence on political
grounds during the Panchayat regime. Chaudhari was born in
1975 in Saptari District. He holds a Master's degree in Arts
from Tribhuvan University. He is married and has two sons
and a daughter.

Mahalaxmi Aryal Upadhyaya, State Minister of Water Resources
-------------- --------------


8. (U) State Minister of Water Resources Mahalaxmi Aryal
Upadhyaya is a women's rights activist who aligned with the
Democratic (Deuba) offshoot of the NC during the 2002-07
party split. Upadhyaya, a former Makwanpur District
President of the Nepal Women Organization (1989),was
nominated to the National Women Commission in 2002. She ran
for Parliament from Makwanpur District in 1999 but was
defeated by a UML candidate. She is not a member of the
Interim Parliament. Upadhyaya, a Brahmin, is married.

Nagendra Chaudhary, State Minister for Agriculture and
Cooperatives
-------------- --------------


9. (U) Nagendra Chaudhary, State Minister for Agriculture
and Cooperatives, is not a member of the Interim Parliament.
He lost his bids for Parliament on the UML ticket in both the
1991 and 1999 elections. Currently a central party official
of the UML, Chaudhary was a District Deputy Secretary of the
party in 1993-1995. Chaudhary was born in 1962 in Parsa
District and completed secondary school. He comes from the
Tharu ethnic community. He does not speak English.

Padam Bahadur Rai, State Minister of Physical Planning and
Works
-------------- --------------


10. (U) Padam Bahadur Rai, first-time State Minister of
Physical Planning and Works, is a district level Maoist
leader of Bhojpur District. The Maoist party nominated him

KATHMANDU 00000083 003 OF 003


to the Interim Parliament in January 2007. He reports to
Minister of Physical Planning and Works Hisila Yami, the wife
of deputy Maoist chief Baburam Bhattarai. Rai belongs to the
Kiranti ethnic community.

Nabin Kumar Bishwokarma, State Minister for Local Development
-------------- --------------


11. (U) Nabin Kumar Bishwokarma is the State Minister for
Local Development, deputy to Minister Dev Gurung, a senior
Maoist leader. Bishwokarma is a member of the Maoists'
Karnali Regional Bureau in far-western Nepal and the District
Party In-Charge (local chief) of Mugu District. He is a
Dalit.

Comment
--------------


12. (S) During a meeting January 9 with the Ambassador,
Prime Minister Koirala repeatedly asked the Ambassador if he
should replace Home Minister Krishna Sitaula (Reftel). The
talk in Kathmandu was that he intended to appoint a Madhesi
in Sitaula's place. The Prime Minister ultimately decided
not to sack Sitaula, probably under direct pressure from the
Indians, and instead gave him a new Madhesi deputy, Ram Kumar
Chaudhari. Sujata Koirala told Emboff at the time of the
cabinet expansion that State Minister Chaudhari would be
given authority that effectively rendered Minister Situala --
much maligned for his ineffective handling of the security
situation in the Terai and alleged closeness to the Maoists
-- a mere figurehead. We are skeptical. Even with Sujata
pulling strings in the Prime Minister's Office from her new
chair, Sitaula will be hard to circumvent. Nevertheless, the
appointment of a Madhesi as State Home Minister should help
improve ethnic tensions in the Terai. The bigger
controversy, even within the PM's Nepali Congress, has been
the appointment of Sujata Koirala. Her public comments after
her swearing in about the need to preserve the monarchy have
only added fuel to the fire.
POWELL