Tag Archives: prime minister

For the Record: Sushil Koirala Elected the Prime Minister of Nepal

By The Kathmandu Post

Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, who has never held a public office, was elected prime minister on Monday (10 Feb) , garnering more than a two-thirds majority in parliament.

A seven-point deal signed between Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, the two largest parties in Constituent Assembly, on Sunday paved the way for 74-year-old Koirala to become the country’s 37th prime minister.

During a poll, Koirala—the sole candidate—got 405 votes in his favour. The third largest party, UCPN (Maoist), and some other parties voted against Koirala. Votes against his candidacy numbered 148.

PM Koirala’s priorities

Just before being elected, Koirala presented a list of his priorities to the parliament: Continue reading For the Record: Sushil Koirala Elected the Prime Minister of Nepal

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.

BAD

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.

NOW WHAT?

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.

American Diplomatic Cable: A Turgid Maoist Letter to Americans That Baburam Bhattarai May Have Written

2002-05-07 13:14

UNCLAS KATHMANDU 000893

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SA/INS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PGOV OVIP PREL NP
SUBJECT: MAOISTS SEND LETTER TO AMERICANS ON PM’S VISIT

¶1. Local media outlets received by e-mail the afternoon
of May 7 a letter from the International Department of
the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) addressed “To Our
Friends in America.” A copy of the letter has been
faxed to SA/INS. Continue reading American Diplomatic Cable: A Turgid Maoist Letter to Americans That Baburam Bhattarai May Have Written

American Diplomatic Cable: Girija Prasad Koirala and American Ambassador Moriarty

2006-05-09

C O N F I D E N T I A L KATHMANDU 001195

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/10/2016
TAGS: PGOV PTER PREL MASS PINR IN NP
SUBJECT: PRIME MINISTER KOIRALA ON THE WAY AHEAD

REF: A. KATHMANDU 1191

¶B. NEW DELHI 3048

Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty, Reasons, 1.4 (b/d).

Summary
——-

¶1. (C) Prime Minister Koirala appealed May 10 to the
Ambassador for assistance in gaining Indian support for a
third party witness for negotiations with the Maoists and for
international monitors of the cease-fire. Koirala liked the
suggestion of having two witnesses – perhaps an Indian and an
outsider – to be able to observe the negotiations, suggesting
that it be done under a UN rubric. He also suggested
expanding the mandate of the UN Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) so the UN could act as
an umbrella organization for the cease-fire. Koirala
expected the seven parties to finish their wrangling and
finalize a Cabinet by May 11. The Nepali Congress would lead
the Government of Nepal’s (GON) negotiating team, which would
then report back to a caucus of the seven-party alliance. He
requested that U.S. continue to hold off any security
assistance until the military was definitively brought under
civilian control. End Summary. Continue reading American Diplomatic Cable: Girija Prasad Koirala and American Ambassador Moriarty

Equation of Pushpa Kamal Dahal & Baburam Bhattarai is the Most Important Equation

An analysis by Akhilesh Upadhyay in The Kathmandu Post

Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal invited a select group of editors to his Nayabazaar residence last Wednesday. Expectations ran high, even though Dahal’s office had pitched the meeting as “a regular exchange on current affairs.”

The Maoist party, as it turned out, came up with a detailed proposal on integration and rehabilitation of ex-combatants the next day—the first such document since the peace process started in 2006.

Despite the perceptible decline in his stature in recent years, Dahal still remains the most important political figure in the current transition. His stated ideas and implied messages become subjects of heated debates and raging controversies across the country. Continue reading Equation of Pushpa Kamal Dahal & Baburam Bhattarai is the Most Important Equation

Everything You Wanted to Know about Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai (and his Mustang Car)

Baburam Bhattarai in 1970
Baburam Bhattarai in 1970 when he topped the School Leaving Certificate exam.

The impression: Nepali people have rarely been so optimistic about the Prime Minister as they are with Baburam Bhattarai and it’s a rare sight when Nepalis across the political spectrum (especially those who are considered general population- students, youths, activists) express satisfaction, relief, even happiness, over the election of a person to the post of Prime Minister. It seems as if the whole country has put its faith and hope on Baburam Bhattarai. Going by the Facebook statues, tweets and tea-talks on the streets of Kathmandu, the election of Baburam Bhattarai yesterday as the 35th Prime Minister of Nepal seems to be the best thing to have happened in Nepal in a long long time. While putting enormous faith on his the nation seems to have forgotten that BRB is a Maoist who waged a 10-year-old bloody war that killed 15000 Nepalis.  BUT, and this is a big one, will he be able to live up to the sky-high expectation of Nepali people? Lets hope he does.

On a lighter note, Prime Minister BRB will be riding a locally assembled car called Mustang- nothing to do with Ford, I assume. (Mustang is a Himalayan district that borders China.) This car (see pic below) is cheap compared to what other Prime Ministers have used in the past. Continue reading Everything You Wanted to Know about Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai (and his Mustang Car)

Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal Tenders Resignation

Update on 28 Aug: Just to let you all know that the election for the new prime minister is underway in the Constituent Assembly as we type this update:

By Ritu Raj Subedi/Ram Prasad Dahal

PM quits after failing to make ‘breakthrough’ in his six and half months tenure.

Kathmandu: Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal Sunday (today) resigned from his post as he failed to make any ‘breakthrough’ in peace and constitution writing. The Maoist non-cooperation, and the intense pressure from opposition and his own party eventually forced Khanal to quit. PM Khanal submitted his resignation letter to President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav at Shital Niwas at around 8:30 pm. His resignation came one day after his self-imposed deadline. He had announced that he would leave office on August 13 if the peace process failed to gather steam by then.

“I resigned from the post for peace and constitution, not coming under the pressure from my party,” Khanal told the media persons after tendering his resignation to the President. He said that he would address the House tomorrow and put forth his views on his resignation. In his resignation letter, PM Khanal mentioned that he quit respecting the spirit of the five-point agreement.

“My relentless efforts for peace, national consensus and constitution writing could not come to fruition during my six months’ stay in office,” PM’s press advisor Surya Thapa quoted PM Khanal as saying in the resignation.

Khanal became Prime Minister on February 3 this year with the support of UCPN-Maoist, Madhesi Janaadhiakar Forum, Nepal and other small parties in the parliament after the UML and the Maoists struck the seven-point agreement. However, Nepali Congress and Madhesi parties opposed the agreement, citing it triggered polarization between Left and non-Left camps. The NC disrupted the House meeting for eighth time, demanding his resignation as the five-point deal inked on May 28 for the extension of Constituent Assembly’s tenure for the second time. Continue reading Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal Tenders Resignation

Looking for a Prime Minister: Seventh Failed Attempt

For the record: Even the seventh round of the prime ministerial election in the House today failed to elect a chief executive, thanks to the CPN-UML‘s and Madhes-based parties’ neutral stance. Now, the country will have to wait for nearly three weeks to see another round of the drama of the prime ministerial election. The eighth round poll in the House has been scheduled for September 26.

Yet, it is not sure that the eighth round of election also can elect a new prime minister as the parties are sticking to their old respective positions. The election has been postponed by three weeks due to the General Convention of the Nepali Congress (NC), a contestant in the PM election.

In Tuesday’s seventh round of election, UCPN (Maoist) Candidate Pushpa Kamal Dahal and NC candidate Ram Chandra Poudel both failed to garner a majority vote.

Among the 521 lawmakers present during the voting, 252 voted for Dahal, and 110 voted against while 159 remained neutral in the proposal to elect Dahal as the new prime minister. Likewise, 119 votes were cast in favour of Poudel, and 245 votes against, while 151 remained neutral. Continue reading Looking for a Prime Minister: Seventh Failed Attempt

Prime Minister Nepal Addresses the Nation

९. सरकार परिवर्तनलाई नै मुख्य विषय बनाउने हो भने पनि यसका लागि हामीले नै स्थापित गरेको राजनीतिक र संवैधानिक प्रक्रिया अपनाउनै पर्दछ।

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal urged the UCPN (Maoist) to withdraw the strike and come to the table to find an agreement. Addressing the nation on Saturday evening (today) just after a few minutes the Maoist concluded their mass assembly in which thousands of people participated, he said strike and violence will weaken the democracy, new constitution cannot be made and federal republic cannot be institutionalised. He stressed on agreement and cooperation for the conclusion of peace process and new constitution. For agreement, he said, language of tolerance and cooperation should be spoken, and not that of threat and intimidation Continue reading Prime Minister Nepal Addresses the Nation

Maoist 'Revolutionary' is the Prime Minister of Nepal

In what will go on the pages of the history books as one of the most important days of Nepal, Maoist revolutionary (and leader of an outfit that was branded terrorist until two years ago) Pushpa Kamal Dahal (aka Prachanda) has been elected the Prime Minister of Nepal by a majority of votes in the Constituent Assembly this evening. Nepali Congress, second largest party in the assembly, was the opponent that filed separate candidacy. Sher Bahadur Dueba, senior Congress leader and three time prime minister, was defeated (he got 113 votes vs 464 of Dahal). Many other fringe parties supported the Maoist led alliance that included third largest CPN UML. Chairman of the CA in his capacity as the Speaker of the House of Representative announced the results a few seconds ago. Continue reading Maoist 'Revolutionary' is the Prime Minister of Nepal