News / Asia

Political Deadlock Eases in Nepal

Members of a splinter faction of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal Maoist run and shout slogans as they protest against the formation of an interim government in Katmandu, Nepal, March 14, 2013.
Members of a splinter faction of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal Maoist run and shout slogans as they protest against the formation of an interim government in Katmandu, Nepal, March 14, 2013.
Anjana Pasricha
Nepal’s chief justice has taken over as prime minister, after the country’s fractious political parties agreed to let him organize new elections.  This marks the end of nearly one year of political deadlock but there are concerns that naming the chief justice as prime minister could compromise the judiciary.    

Supreme Court Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi was sworn in as prime minister at a ceremony in the capital, Kathmandu, following a cross-party consensus that he should lead the country to elections.     

It is an urgent task - Nepal has been without a parliament for nearly a year because major political parties could not reach a consensus on writing a new constitution for the country by the time its term expired.   

Prime Minister Regmi will head an administration of 11 former officials.

The new government hopes to hold polls by June 21, but many observers say that the elections may be pushed back until November.

Political analyst Yuvraj Ghimire in Kathmandu says the new prime minister faces a challenging task.  He points out there will be no politician in his government.

“The stumbling block is one whether a Cabinet that is fully packed with retired civil servants, without the cooperation of political parties, will be able to deliver in a system that is to be run by the politicians," said Ghimire. "This is an experiment, but this is also an admission on the part of the three or four parties that they were complete failure to run the government and complete the peace process.”

Although the main political parties have thrown their weight behind Chief Justice Regmi’s appointment as prime minister, there are many opposing voices - in the legal fraternity, in some sections of civil society and among several small political parties.  They say his elevation to the post of prime minister is against democratic principles.

This includes a breakaway faction of the Maoist party, which held street protests in Kathmandu.

Ghimire says there are fears Regmi’s appointment could affect the independence of the judiciary.    

“Supreme Court’s independence has come into question because new prime minister continues as the chief justice, although he says he will not be interfering in the day-to-day affairs of the court," he added.  "The people’s diminishing faith in the judiciary will lead to a tendency perhaps to sort out issues on the streets rather than seeking judicial remedy.”

The political stalemate in Nepal has virtually paralyzed a peace process that began in 2008, after the country recovered from a long civil war.  The former monarchy became a republic, but since then the country’s fractious political parties have been wrangling about the country's new form of government.  Although the political uncertainty has eased, it has not ended with Regmi's appointment.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid