Nepal Today

Monday, February 25, 2013

80,000 ILLEGAL NEPALIS TO BENEFIT FROM SAUDI AMNESTY Kathmandu, 26 Feb.: An estimated 80,000 illegal Nepali workers, including women, will benefit form Sunday’s amnesty for foreign workers, Nepalese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Uday Raj Pandey said. There are am estimated 500,000 Nepalis working in Saudi Arabia. nnnn.. CJ’S CONDITIONAL NOD TO ELECTION GOVT. LED BY HIM Kathmandu, 26 Feb.: Breaking his long silence, Chief Justice (CJ) Khil Raj Regmi has indicated that he is positive on the parties’ proposal asking him to head the election government. CJ Regmi made his stance public on Monday through a statement issued by the Supreme Court on his behalf, Pranab Kharel writes in The Kathmandu Post.,. The statement clarifies that even the head of the judiciary does not have any personal ambition to preside over the Cabinet and that the CJ remains positive towards providing outlet to the current political and constitutional impasse as this pertains to the “broader national interest.” However, the statement has a rider. Indicating a subjudice petition challenging the proposal of the parties to form a poll government under the CJ, the statement mentions that any further step would take into consideration the “judicial decision.” It also states that political consensus among the parties and constitutional and legal complexities would be taken into consideration while proceeding with the plan. The statement, however, is silent on whether the CJ would resign from his position before assuming the office of the executive. CJ Regmi aired his position after a meeting with the leaders of the four major parties on Monday morning. According to sources, CJ Regmi told leaders that he was ready to make any sacrifice to provide an outlet to the current impasse. Responding to a petition challenging the proposal of the parties to form a poll government under the sitting CJ, the Supreme Court on Sunday asked the defendants, including Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, to furnish a written reply by March 5 on the matter. Citing pertinent constitutional issues, the court ordered that the petition be placed before a special bench on March 7. Observers argued that the court order piles “moral pressure” on CJ Regmi to not take up the offer. The proposal has drawn strong criticism from a large section of the opposition parties and the legal fraternity, including the Nepal Bar Association (NBA). CJ Regmi himself had remained hesitant on the proposal, seeking full cooperation from the parties. He had objected to certain provisions of the nine-point deal agreed to by the parties, primarily the one stating that the election government would be removed if it failed to hold elections by June 5. He was also against any interference by the proposed political mechanism comprising senior leaders from the major parties. Regmi had told parties that he was concerned about protests against his appointment in the parties—Nepali Congress and CPN-UML. Regmi also wanted parties to sort out contentious issues, including the issuance of citizenship and voter registration. The Nepal Bar Association has called an emergency meeting on Tuesday. According to NBA General Secretary Sunil Kumar Pokharel, the Bar’s attention was drawn to the statement issued by the apex court. “We believe that this will compromise the independence of the judiciary,” said Pokharel. He added that the Bar would seek the authenticity of the statement. Nnnn EU PUSHES LATEST MOVES IN NEPAL SAYS SECOND CPN MAOIST LEADER Kathmandu, 26 Feb.:- CPN-Maoist Vice Chairman CP Gajurel said that western forces have had an influence over the current floating proposal to form an election government under the leadership of chief justice, The Kathmandu Post writes from New Delhi.. Addressing a program organised by the All India Nepal Ekta Manch at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi on Monday, Gajurel said that the idea seems to have come through the European Union (EU). Answering a query regarding the accusation of CPN-Maoist leaders that the CJ-led government was an Indian agenda, Gajurel said, "It looks like, the idea came floating from the EU nations; however, India also seems to support the idea." Gajurel opined that forming a government under the leadership of chief justice is a conspiracy. "This is a move by the western forces to weaken the national bodies. It is an indication that the political forces have failed. This could also be an opportunity for the foreign forces to disable the judiciary and take control," said Gajurel. Gajurel also raised question over CPN-UML's support for the same although many of the party leaders were not satisfied with the proposal. He further said that his party would protest against the decision. He claimed that the only option to solve the current political impasse is to have a round table meeting of all the forces involved in the Constituent Assembly (CA). nnnn


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