To Hold Democratic Elections, Supreme Court Chief Justice Becomes Prime Minister in Nepal

WHAT- Nepal got a new Prime Minister today. President Ram Baran Yadav appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi as the Chairman of the Interim Electoral Council of Ministers (basically the Prime Minister) of Nepal. Dr. Yadav also administered the oath of office and secrecy to Regmi this morning. Regmi became the PM because Nepal’s top political parties, at war with each other and unwilling to accept leadership of the party other than their own, finally agreed on CJ Regmi’s name for the leader of the electoral government to hold elections of the Constituent Assembly. It is believed that Nepali leaders, generally considered corrupt and incompetent, did so at the behest of foreign forces especially our southern neighbor.

GOOD? BAD? Both.

First, why it is good:

1) Regmi replaced Dr. Baburam Bhattarai as the PM. This is good. I had big hopes from Bhattarai when he became pm 18 months ago. But he turned out to be a utter disappointment. Just another corrupt man who promoted nepotism and favoritism and, through his wife, misused resources of state in a naked manner. So Bhattarai’s exit is a relief. The Maoists were milking the state resource. I am not sure if that will be stopped entirely because the militant party in Nepal has the capability to extort and intimidate general public, business and government machinery even when they are not in power. Moreover, they have put in place many of their men and women in many plum and crucial positions in Nepali government machinery and administration that it will childish to say that their illegal flow of income from the state coffer will stop.


Now, why it’s bad?

1) If you believe in democracy, its principles, constitutionalism and fairness in politics, you will be very sad with the way Regmi’s name was proposed and appointed to lead the government. When he was appointed the prime minister, he was the serving Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Stunningly, he still is the CJ. He hasn’t resigned. Now, where has that basic principle of a constitutional democracy called separation of power gone? And look at what happend at the Supreme Court today? It was supposed to hear on the writ filed against the appointment of the CJ as PM. But the hearing was differed because CJ was appointed PM merely an hour before the hearing  was scheduled to begin. The whole concept of independent judiciary has received a big blow.


Those who are support the CJ’s appointment as the PM argue that it was done to hold elections and provide an outlet to nearly 10-month long political deadlock. Okay, I get the point. But will an election which itself is an outcome of undemocratic exercise be able to provide solutions? It will be a step towards right direction if Regmi resigned from his post of the CJ.

Also, there really wasn’t any constitutional way to appoint a new pm because political parties who were to work in conensious were not willing to accept each other’s leadership. The only other option would have been to continue with BRB, whose legality was already in question, at the helm. Nepal’s current flawed interim constitution provides only ways for a prime ministerial appointment: one, the person has to win a majority of votes in the CA which is no more. Two, the person has to garner the support of major political parties, namely the NC, UML and UCPN Maoist (called national consensus).

I am all for elections. My hands are etching to caste a vote (two votes actually). Yes it will be very hard for me to choose the candidate (or a party) because all of the partie that are likely to contest in the elections have been tried and tested and they have all disappointed us. I just hope that some good candidates show up in the elections and some really good leaders emerge out of the democratic process.

Some say they doubt elections can happen under this government. Some say, there are high chances for elections to happen (in November, not in July though) because parties do want to rule and the only way for them to go back to power is to content elections and win the votes of the people.

Now the danger is that we can fully trust this government either. It is because these bureaucrats (two former secretaries were appointed ministers today and eight more will be included in the cabinet) are accountable to none today. And people can not punish (or award) them in elections either. They may turn out to be even more corrupt. Bigger danger is that they may get unduly influenced to sign anti-national treaties and other provisions.





3 responses to “To Hold Democratic Elections, Supreme Court Chief Justice Becomes Prime Minister in Nepal”

  1. […] interim government to electionsReutersChief justice sworn in to oversee Nepal electionsGlobalPostTo Hold Democratic Elections, Supreme Court Chief Justice Becomes Prime …United We Blog! (blog)Bangkok Postall 124 news […]

  2. Birds eye Avatar
    Birds eye

    It is time for the nation to once again come together as citizens of Nepal and go for elections. We have just moved forward from an unsuccessful prime minister who could not quite understand what his main job during his tenure was, to bring a new constitution. Whether it was his personal or party’s choice to not come to a conclusion and let all hard work of the past four years come to waste by dissolving the parliament, he has very well shown that his priority never was to give Nepal a new constitution but only to work as per his party for example nepotism(Hishila Yami appointing numerous relatives), rampant corruption, close to extortion in the name of peace process and relief packages (even managing to trick their own PLA members), several anti-national agreements ( we all want to see growth in foreign investment within Nepal but we should also be promoting to protect our own investment and be biased towards only protecting Indian investment or from anywhere else, there was a political motive behind these agreements). Several threats he provoked against democratic values also tells us what kind of intellectual thinker is actually is. Kudos to widening the roads in Kathmandu Valley but you deviated from the main purpose. It has come to a realisation that we were somewhat correct when saying Baburam has a passion and character, unfortunately it has been used in every other way but towards Nepal’s new constitution. On a positive note, we have now understood what exactly Baburam’s definition of a New Nepal is and the citizens will not fall for his misconceptions again. Therefore a failed Prime Minister of Nepal. Time and again have we learned from mistakes, so, let us not fall back in expressing ourselves. Let us once again come together and build our nation!!!

  3. Pant,Dibakar,in the US Avatar
    Pant,Dibakar,in the US

    Despite of many suitable solutions to address current constitutional and political deadlock the so-called main leaders had chosen wrong and undemocratic path.In reality,it’s a declaration of death of current interim constitution because no as such big changes could be done as per wish of few selected so-called leaders in the name of opening the blockade through an executive order.No constitution could be amended from executive order in the way applied in Nepal,So,this is not a democratic norms and principle of constitutionalism.That’s why Nepal opted to chose undemocratic and unconstitutional way to go ahead.In order to find political legitimacy to reach the destination of constitutional legitimacy there should be broader political conference consisting all political parties,civil society and other stakes-holders like Nepal Bar association.
    The final out-come of the said conference would be political solution to achieved constitutional validity instead of imposing wish of few leaders.The role of the president of Nepal seems controversy as well because he intentionally ignored other political parties.

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