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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid