Nepal: Parliament guidelines

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Parliament on Sunday passed regulations paving the way for appointments to key posts that require parliamentary hearings.

Due to the inordinate delay in passing of the Legislature-Parliament Business Operation Regulations, the appointments of Sushil Karki as the Chief Justice and Ayodhee Prasad Yadav as the Chief Election Commissioner have been in limbo for months.

The Judicial Council had recommended Karki as the new Chief Justice in April. But Karki is still serving merely as the acting Chief Justice because Parliament failed to conduct a hearing on her appointment due to the lack of the requisite regulations.

Yadav’s appointment has been held up for even longer. His name was put forward by the Council as the new Chief Election Commissioner last December. However, he is still waiting for Parliament to conduct a hearing on his candidature.

In the absence of guidelines for parliamentary hearings, the appointments of 12 justices to the Supreme Court and 21 ambassadors have also been obstructed for months. With the endorsement of the guidelines by a majority of Members of Parliament on Sunday, all these key posts are expected to be filled soon.

Passage of the guidelines had been stymied due to a dispute between the ruling UML-Maoist coalition and the main opposition NC over the size of the Parliamentary Hearing Committee. While the ruling coalition wanted a 15-member committee, the NC has been pushing for a membership of 73.

The NC finally gave in on Saturday to the ruling coalition’s stand for a 15-member Parliament Hearing Committee.