Nepal Today

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

THREE STAR, NRT PLAY IN FOOTBALL LEAGUE THURSDAY Kathmandu, 14 March: Three Star and NRT play in the martyrs memorial A division super league championship at Dashrath Rangashala Thursday. Only one match is being played Thursday in the league with eight clubs being played. nnnn... CAPITAL’S MINIMUM TEMPERATURE 13 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 14 March: Capital’s minimum temperature is expected to be 13 degrees Celsius Thursday. Mercury is exected to rise to 27 degrees in the afternoon on a sunny day. nnnn DETAILS OF BREAKTHROUGH OVERNIGHT AGREEMENT TO INSTALL CHIEF JUSTICE CHIEF OF ELECTION GOVT. Kathmandu, 14 March:: Four major political forces today put an end to long-drawn speculations, as they signed an 11-point political agreement on removing constitutional difficulties and forming an election government, raising hopes of an election as early as third week of June, Prakash Acharya writes in The Himalayan Times.. Top leaders of four forces — the Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front — today finalised that the new government will be formed under Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi, to be called an interim election council, that Regmi will lead the council as the chairman and that it will have 11 members, chosen by the chairman of the council on the basis of inclusiveness. The top leaders finally managed to accomplish an exacting task of clinching the deal to this effect at around 11:00pm after 14 hours of negotiations today and days of rigorous, tense, and at times heated discussions, as issues kept on frustrating their efforts. The major forces have finally ironed out differences on issues of citizenship and voters’ list — two most thorny issues that prickled them the most. The parties agreed to recommend President Ram Baran Yadav to invoke Article 158 and appoint CJ Regmi as the chairman of the election council. Though the parties have agreed that the CJ-led interim election council will hold the election within June 21, they have caveated it saying that in the event of failure to hold the polls on said date, a high level political committee will take a decision regarding the new date, at the next earliest possible date but no later than November, on the basis of political understanding and that the committee will advise the council to that effect accordingly. On the issue of citizenship, major forces have agreed that those who are born to the parents who have acquired citizenship by birth will be given citizenship on the basis of descent, and on voters’ list, parties have agreed to include those as voters who were listed during the 2008 elections and those who are in the updated list of the Election Commission. For others, Section 11 of Voters’ List Act 2063 will be applicable, which means those who are yet to acquire their citizenship will have to produce any other proof of being a Nepali citizen for their right to vote. “As the Supreme Court has already removed the provision, it will be activated through invoking Article 158,” said NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi. In relation to filling vacancies at the Supreme Court, the parties have agreed to formulate required constitutional provisions as soon as possible. After the chief justice’s appointment as the chairman of the election council, an officiating chief justice will take over his duties. For appointments at constitutional bodies, parties have said they would do so as per an agreement of the high level political committee, which will comprise representatives from the major political parties. The parties have also agreed to elect a 491-member constituent assembly, in line with the spirit of inclusiveness, in which 240 members will be chosen through first past the post system and 240 through proportional representation system. Eleven members will be nominated by the election council on the basis of political agreement. The new constituent assembly will double as Parliament as long as the work of drafting a new constitution continues, and following the promulgation of the constitution, it will function as per the spirit of the new constitution. The parties have also agreed to take the ownership of all the achievements made by the dissolved constituent assembly. Nnnn WHO IS KHIL RAJ REGMI? 1 Kathmandu, 14 March: Khil Raj Regmi was born at Pokharathok - 6, Palpa on 31st May, 1949. He is married to Shanta Regmi and is the father of three children. He has a Masters in Arts and a Bachelors in Law from Tribhuvan University, Republica reports.. Regmi started his career as a section officer some four decades ago. He was a section officer at the Supreme Court (SC) from 1972 to 74. He served as district judge at various district courts from 1974 to 1985. Regmi held the post of deputy registrar at the SC from 1985 to 91. Similarly, he was a judge at various appellate courts from 1991 to 96 and chief judge of various appellate courts from 1996 to 2003. Regmi was promoted to justice of the apex court and he worked in that capacity from 2003 to 2011. He has been holding the post of chief justice of the SC since May 6, 2011. Regmi has received various national and international awards for his contribution to the legal sector. He was honored with the Gorkha Dakshin Bahu 4th class in 1981, Gorkha Dakshin Bahu 3rd class in 1990, and the Trishakti Patta 3rd class in 2000. The International Jurists Award, 2012 was conferred on him by the International Council of Jurists, London. Regmi has visited dozens of countries including the USA, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Belgium, France, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bhutan and India. He has concurrently held additional responsibilities. Regmi was Coordinator of the High Level Committee to Study and Submit Report on Abolition of Attendance System in the Courts Ensuring Representation of Parties, 2009. Similarly, he held the post of chairperson of the Juvenile Justice Coordination Committee from 2007 to June 2011. Regmi has attended various international conferences including the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability held in Brazil, and the Seventh Conference of Asian Constitutional Court Judges held in Indonesia, among others. Nnnn PM, PRESIDENT, MAOIST CHIEF ASK SC TO SCRAP PETITION AGAINST CJ-LED GOVT. Kathmandu, 14 March: The president´s office, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and his office, UCPN (Maoist) chairman and the Ministry of Law and Justice (MoLJ) have urged the Supreme Court (SC) to scrap the writ petition filed against the decision on forming an election government under leadership of the chief justice, stating that the apex court cannot review a political Issue, Republica reports.. Responding to the Supreme Court (SC)´s order to furnish written clarification over the decision to form an election government-led by Chief Justice (CJ) Khil Raj Regmi, Bhattarai has stated that the writ petition is subjective and does not acknowledge the distinct nature of the current political situation and the ongoing peace process in the country. He has claimed that the writ petition is intended to drag the judiciary into political controversy and disrupt efforts being made by the political parties to forge consensus. The prime minister has maintained that political parties agreed to form an election government led by the sitting chief justice after they failed to forge consensus on other alternatives. Stating that political parties have arrived at consensus on the issue in accordance with the provisions enshrined in the interim constitution regarding the principle of separation of powers, Bhattarai said that the deal between political parties will be implemented in accordance with the existing constitution. The prime minister has argued that formation of a CJ-led government will not violate the principle of separation of powers as the chief justice, once he heads an election government, will only execute the tasks of the executive and keep away from the day to day activities of a CJ. “We have reached no agreement that blatantly undermines the supremacy of constitution and independence of judiciary as claimed in the writ petition,” reads the clarification sent by the prime minister to SC. The prime minister has stated that involvement of chief justices and judges in non-judicial activities is also found in established democracies, including the United States of America and Australia. Similarly, terming the writ petition subjective, the president´s office has said that the writ petition deserves to be scraped as it is related to an issue which is beyond the scope of the existing constitution. The president´s office has claimed that it has been made defendant in the petition based on hypothesis and subjectivity. In his clarification, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has termed the writ petition against the interests of the country and the people. He has stated that the apex court will function in accordance with the principle of independence of judiciary as the sitting chief justice will work as the head of an election related mechanism for a particular time. Likewise, in its clarification, MoLJ has urged the apex court to dismiss the writ petition stating that the decision on forming a CJ led government is a natural political process. MoLJ has also claimed that there is no constitutional ground for the apex court to issue any type of order on a “purely a political issue”. Meanwhile, the Judicial Council (JC), the constitutional body which is headed by the chief justice himself, has said that it has not made any suggestions on the formation of a government headed by sitting or former CJ or judge. It has also maintained that it is not aware of any such decision. Advocate Om Prakash Aryal on February 26 had filed a writ petition seeking the apex court intervention in the formation of a CJ-led government. Nnnn7 ARGENTINEAN ELECTED POPE Kathmandu, 14 March: Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected in a surprise choice to be the new leader of the troubled Roman Catholic Church today, and said he would take the name Francis, Reuters reports from Vatican City.. Pope Francis, 76, appeared on the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica just over an hour after white smoke poured from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel to signal he had been chosen to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. The choice of Bergoglio was announced by French cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran with the Latin words ‘Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus Papam’ (I announce to you a great joy. We have a pope) Francis becomes the 266th pontiff in the Church’s 2,000-year history at a time of great crisis and difficulty. Although a conservative he is seen as a reformer and was not among the small group of frontrunners identified before the election. He also went against one of the main assumptions before the election, that the new pope would be relatively young. He is the oldest of most of the possible candidates and was barely mentioned in feverish speculation about the top contenders before the conclave. He is the first Jesuit to become pope. The decision by 115 cardinal electors sequestered in a secret conclave in the Sistine Chapel came sooner than many experts expected because there were several frontrunners before the vote to replace Pope Benedict, who resigned in February. The cardinals faced a thorny task in finding a leader capable of overcoming crises caused by priestly child abuse and a leak of secret papal documents that uncovered corruption and rivalry inside the Church government or Curia. The wave of problems is thought to have contributed to Benedict’s decision to become the first pontiff in 600 years to abdicate. Thousands of people sheltering from heavy rain under a sea of umbrellas had occupied the square all day to await the decision and the crowd swelled as soon as the white smoke emerged. They cheered wildly and raced towards the basilica as the smoke billowed from a narrow makeshift chimney and St Peter’s bells rang. The excited crowd cheered even more loudly when Francis appeared, the first pontiff to take that name. ‘Viva il Papa (pope)’ they chanted. “I wasn’t expecting it, but I’m absolutely delighted. It’s a very unique moment. There is a great sense of unity here. It’s great they have come to a decision about who will lead the Church,” said John Mcginley, a Scottish priest from Glasgow who travelled to see the conclave. “It’s a great moment in history, something I can tell my mum,” said David Brasch, 30, from Brisbane Australia. nnnn


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