Nepal Today

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NC. UML SET THEIR COMM0ON STANCE BEFORE CHAIRMAN REGMI FOR ELECTIONS Kathmandu, 23 May: NC and UML ‘in a joint and common move’ held discussions with Chairman of the Interim Election Council Representatives Khil Raj Regmi Wednesday evening. They told Regmi voting in the second constituent assembly should be conducted for 491 seats and a one percent threshold should be intoridced and persons harged with criminal activities should not be perittedto contest elections—all pre0conditions opposed by UCPN Maoist and small parties. MC and UML also asked .government to declare official dates for elections but before political decisions of the Baburam Bhattara government ae removed to ensure wtaht they call ‘free and fair’ vote. “Problems will be created for conducting the election,” said NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel. Demands have been made for removing 11-point agreement between four main parties and removal of 25 hrdles to amend the constitution before the appointment of the Khil Raj Regmi government. President Dr.Ram Baran Yadav and then Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s government amended the interim constitution in the absence of parliament paving the way for the appointment of the election government of retired top civil servants headed by an incumbent Chief Justice Regmi. According to the interim constitution, articles in the basic law are amended through a two-third parliamentary majoprity. Parliament was automatically dissolved when the Bhattarai government called a May election that was never held by Bhattarai. With mistrust amongst themselves, the parties couldn’t agree on a government. UC and UML leaders met Regmi Wednesday after a two-party joint meeting earlierin the day. “The directive of an 11-point agreement and 25 obstacles sthat were removed can’t be reconsidered,” Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat of NC said. The two parties have also agreed to bring CPN Maoist and MJFN of Upendra Yadav in a high-level political body of four parties to create and atmosphere for a vote. nnnn THREE NEPALI AMBASSADORS IN TROUBLE Kathmandu, 23 May: Three Nepali Ambassadors based in Qatar, France and Denmark have landed in trouble for their conduct, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) sought separate explanation s from them, Anil Giri writes in The Kathmandu Post.. Career diplomats based in Paris and Copenhagen--Mohan Krishna Shrestha and Mukti Nath Bhatta respectively--and Maya Kumari Sharma, a political appointee from the UCPN (Maoist) quota and based in Qatar, are in the soup for all the wrong reasons. Sharma's blunt remark on the BBC Sajha Sawal programme that "Qatar is an open jail" invited controversy. So much so that even the Qatar-based unit of the UCPN (Maoist) requested the party headquarters in Kathmandu to recall Sharma immediately. It said Sharma often made such 'blunders.' Apologising for such a statement, Sharma said "it was just a slip of tongue." She has assured MoFA officials that she will not repeat such a thing. However, the ministry is not satisfied with the explanation and is awaiting a decision from the Maoist headquarters to take action against her. Nepali Ambassador to Paris Shrestha was dragged into controversy for "stepping into others' jurisdiction" without taking prior permission from the headquarters. He had recently gone to Brussels on the invitation of the Nepali diaspora there. He, however, made a blunder when he did not ask MoFA and the Nepali Embassy in Belgium for permission to attend a programme in Brussels. When Nepali Ambassador to Belgium Ram Mani Pokhrel came to know of the visit, he lodged a complaint with MoFA. Shrestha has also apologised for his act and claimed that everything happened in haste and that he was unable to inform the ministry and the embassy in Belgium. Ambassador Bhatta, who allegedly hired his son Ramesh as a staffer at the Nepali Embassy in Copenhagen, also faced the ministry's music. In his explanation to the ministry, Bhatta has said his son is merely volunteering in the embassy offices. "The government need not pay him," Bhatta said. MoFA Spokesperson Arjun Bahadur Thapa confirmed that the ministry had sought clarifications from the three envoys. Yet another Nepali Ambassador, this time to South Korea, has also been dragged into controversy for his remarks. Kaman Singh Lama, the envoy from the UCPN (Maoist) quota, told an online news portal that "one needs the strength to lift 100 kg of sacks and not good equations and qualifications to work in Korea. Those who have passed MA or PhD need to pick up sacks in Korea." nnnn


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