Selinger lost five top ministers late last year when they resigned after calling for him to step down. None of them is back in cabinet.
Selinger said Wednesday he didn't offer a position to any of them except Theresa Oswald, who lost the leadership by 33 votes. She turned it down.
"I deeply respect her reasons for deciding not to proceed at this time," he said. "We are a unified caucus now."
Oswald said she declined because she hasn't made up her mind whether to run again.
"I felt it was really important for my colleagues, who are feeling certain about their path going forward, to have an opportunity to showcase their talents in cabinet," she said.
She and the other rebels are happy to mentor rookie ministers and are working behind the scenes to unify the fractured party, she said.
Backbencher Mohinder Saran, who delivered more than 100 crucial votes to Selinger's leadership campaign, was rewarded with the housing portfolio. Steve Ashton, who also ran against Selinger, is returning to transportation and emergency measures.
It's going to take some time to heal the wounds left by the leadership challenge, Ashton said.
"In less than a year, we're going to face the real adversary," he said, referring to the next provincial election. "It's important to be united."
Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh moves to the justice portfolio, while James Allum heads back to education from justice. Former education minister Peter Bjornson is not running again and was dropped from cabinet.
Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross — who has taken criticism for the use of hotels to house children in care — now shares the title of deputy premier with Aboriginal Affairs Minister Eric Robinson.
Backbencher Tom Nevakshonoff, who supported Ashton and has raised the ire of flood victims by appearing to downplay their plight, was appointed conservation and water stewardship minister.
Former finance boss Jennifer Howard, one of the five ministers who resigned, said she is focused on her Winnipeg constituency and the birth of her second child.
"My plate is full and my life is good," she said in an emailed statement.
The revolt was prompted by the NDP's plummeting popularity following a decision to increase the provincial sales tax. The party has been trying to mend fences since Selinger's razor-thin victory, but he has not publicly offered an olive branch to his detractors.
"The premier was in a very tough spot for a while there. He was looking for support," said Royce Koop, who teaches political science at the University of Manitoba. "The question is, are we OK with the premier using cabinet positions to reward people that helped him get out of a political pickle?"
Conservative Leader Brian Pallister said the shuffle rewarded "failed ministers" such as Irvin-Ross and other Selinger supporters.
"What we have is a premier who clearly put partisanship ahead of the province of Manitoba's best interests," Pallister said. "He's rewarded his supporters in a leadership contest and he's penalized those who didn't support him."
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