Nepal Today

Friday, April 5, 2013

JUDICIAL COUNCIL MET COULDN’T APOINT SUPREME COURT JUDGES Kathmandu, A meeting Friday of the judicial council couldn’t appoint judges to vacant positions in the supreme court. Preparations has been completed for appointment of nine judges. Removal of obstructions by President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav on recommendation of the previous government of Baburam Bhattarai had paved the way for the appointments .by removing ‘obstacles’. The removal was actually amendments of a constitution in the absence by the president and government considered illegal by critics. There are only five judges at the apex court where there are at least 10 vacancies. Shortage of judges has delayed delivery of verdicts. Nnnn 10 HOUSES GUTTED IN MADI FIRE Kathmandu, 6 April: A massive fire that broke out at Baruwa, Gardi-8 in Madi here gutted 10 houses, two cowsheds and a haystackm RSS reports from Chitwan.. The fire at the squatters' settlement started from the house of Som Bahadur B.K. Similarly, three houses, two cowsheds and a haystack were gutted by fire at Bagai in Ayodhyapuri-9 on Thursday. Two houses were completely destroyed in another incident of fire at Baghauda-9 on Thursday, police said. Locals and police personnel brought the fires under control at these places. The details on the damage caused by the fires has not been received but it is estimated that the damage is wotrth hundreds of thousands of rupees, police said. Meanwhile, a fire at Auraha VDC in Parsa district on Thursday destroyed five houses there, causing a loss of property worth approximately one million rupees. Locals and police personnel brought the fire under control with the help of a fire engine brought from Birgunj, police said. Nnnn CORRUPTION, FINACIAL IRREGULARITIES OBSTACLES IN RACKLING SOUTH ASIAN POVERTY Kathmandu, 6 April:: The third Minister-level meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) kicked-off from today [Friday-. RSS reports.. Inaugurating the meeting, Chairman of the Interim Election Council (IEC), Khil Raj Regmi, said that all the SAARC countries should work with unity to combat the existing poverty in the region. Chairman Regmi said the SAARC countries have a lot of things to do to meet the demands and desires of the people in this region, adding that it is not impossible to achieve the goal of alleviating poverty if there was political willpower. Corruption and financial irregularities were the challenges and that poverty and backwardness were not uprooted from the SAARC countries for lack of concrete economic development policies, he said. Quoting the famous saying of Mahatma Gandhi that 'Poverty is the ugliest picture of violence', Chairman Regmi said it has been mandatory to implement the poor-oriented programmes in an extensive and coordinative manner. IEC Chairman Regmi said political stability and public participation were the pre-conditions to alleviate poverty and made it clear that Nepal has given priority to uplifting the backward classes by establishing Poverty Alleviation Fund from the state level. Similarly, Minister for Federal Affairs, Local Development, and Health and Population, Bidyadhar Mallik, presented comparative results of the past and recent days and said though the country had 30 per cent of people under the poverty line in 2003, it came down to 25 per cent by the end of 2011. He added that the government has been working to palliate poverty in the rural areas. Secretary General of SAARC Ahmed Saleem stressed the need of bringing strategic programmes to raise the life standards of around 600 million people in South Asia, adding that the SAARC countries need to pay special attention for inclusive economic growth. The meeting would hold discussions on preparing documents regarding poverty, and regional and sub-regional investment projects. It would discuss on food security and nutrition, and collecting fund to establish handicraft villages, among others. Ministers of all the eight SAARC countries and their representatives are attending the meeting. Nnnn VOTE PLANS MARRED SAY EC OFFICIALS Kathmandu, 6 April: With 77 days remaining for the June 21 election date proposed by a cross-party taskforce, the government is struggling to address conflicting views of parties on electoral ordinancesm Bhadra Sharma writes in The Kathmandu Post.. Officials at the Election Commission ( EC ) said the delay in clearing legal hurdles, the lack of consensus among the parties and the failure to complete internal preparations have affected plans to hold the elections in June. Chairman of the Interim Election Government Khil Raj Regmi is now under pressure to address the conflicting views of the parties. Regmi, who met top leaders of the major political parties on Friday, is in a fix over how to resolve the dispute. He had called the meeting with a view to finding a meeting point on some provisions in the draft amendment to the Constituent Assembly Act 2007. “Though the government was eager to announce the poll date, differences on provisions in the electoral ordinances surfaced,” government Spokesperson Madhav Poudel, who is also the Minister for Information and Communications, said. He said the government will again hold consultations with the EC before promulgating the electoral laws. Aides to Chairman Regmi said the promulgation of the laws will take at least a week more. Hinting at the government’s plans to allow criminal convicts to contest the elections six years after the completion of their jail term, senior EC officials said universally accepted norms—which bar criminals from holding public office for life—should not be violated. “As a statutory body, the EC is bound to follow international norms and practices. We have no idea why the government and parties are trying to protect criminals,” said the officials. “I have stopped saying that time is running out, but I believe that given the time limit, June polls are a tall order,” Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety told the Post. The UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led Federal Democratic Republican Alliance is not in favour of allowing convicted criminals to contest the polls and endorsing the provision of one percent threshold for the proportional electoral system. The Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML, however, support the provisions. Uprety said the EC will come up with a ‘work plan’ once the government promulgates the laws. “Now, the ball is in the court of the government and the parties. We have nothing to say,” Uprety said. “We will speak once the laws are promulgated.” nnnn


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