Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and the rival faction of the ruling party, led by Pushpa Kumar Dahal aka Prachanda, face a showdown this week over the possible appointment of former Interior Minister Prem Kumar Rai as the next head of the Himalayan’s best anti-graft watchdog. Nation.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari signed an executive order on Tuesday afternoon to reduce the quorum for meetings of the Prime Minister-led Constitutional Council, which has the power to appoint officials from constitutional bodies such as the powerful Commission to Investigate Abuses of Authority.
The ordinance was enacted hours after House Speaker Agni Sapkota skipped the council meeting and forced Prime Minister Oli to postpone it later that evening. “The speaker could not attend the meeting of the Constitutional Council due to a lack of preparation and homework. There was also no coordination on the part of the [council] Chairman, ”said Sapkota’s press officer Shreedhar Neupane, according to the Kathmandu Post.
After the regulation was passed reducing the quorum of the six-member council to four members, Prime Minister Oli convened the council meeting on Tuesday evening.
In addition to Prime Minister Oli, the other members of the council are chief judges, spokesmen, deputy spokesmen, chairman of the National Assembly and opposition leaders. The position of the deputy spokesman is vacant.
“Today’s meeting of the Constitutional Council discussed the appointments to various vacant constitutional commissions,” said the Chairman of the National Assembly, Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, after the meeting on the Nepalese website Kantipur. He didn’t elaborate on it.
Observers from Nepal said Prime Minister Oli was keen to get the council to appoint former Interior Minister Prem Kumar Rai as chief commissioner to investigate the abuse of authority. The commission is mandated by the constitution to investigate persons who hold public office and their employees for corruption.
Prachanda faction leaders within the ruling party underline that any appointment by the Oli-led government prior to consultations with the Prachanda faction would constitute a violation of the peace pact between Prime Ministers Oli and Prachanda.
One of the conditions for Prime Minister Oli to continue as NCP chairman and prime minister was that he would consult the party leadership before making any political decision or important appointment.
Prime Minister Oli’s rivals suggest that the Prime Minister would like the Anti-Graft Commission to investigate Prachanda and his staff who pressured him to resign.
The NCP was founded in 2018 with the merger of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) led by Prachanda. The honeymoon didn’t last long, however, and the merged entity that came to power, the NCP, has been staring at a split for months.
Prime Minister Oli’s hasty efforts to enforce the appointment of the anti-graft watchdog chief come just before the Communist Party Standing Committee meeting at which Prachanda and his staff, including former Prime Minister Madhav Nepal, put pressure on Prime Minister Oli should increase, stop and leave Important dates only after consultation.