President Bhandari sacks all 7 governors

Published On: November 3, 2019 05:29 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 3: President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Sunday removed the governors of all seven provinces following a recommendation for the same from the Cabinet. 

Amid the row in 2018 over whether the outgoing or the new government to be formed should appoint governors as a new parliament had just been elected, the outgoing Nepali Congress-led government had appointed them as provincial chiefs in January 2018.

Of those removed from the posts of governors are Gobinda Bahadur Tumbahang, Ratneshwor Lal Kayastha, Anuradha Koirala, Baburam Kunwar, Umakant Jha, Durga Keshari Khanal and Mohanraj Malla. Tumbahang was appointed the governor of Province 1, Kayastha of Province 2, Anuradha Koirala of Province 3, Kunwar of Gandaki Province, Jha of Province 5, Khanal of Karnali Province and Malla of Sudoor Pakshim Province. 

Although it was said that the new government led by KP Sharma Oli would replace them immediately after Oli getting into power, their appointment remained unchanged.  On Sunday evening, the Office of the President, however, issued a statement informing about their removal. 

The main opposition Nepali Congress, which had then appointed the governors, has objected to the government’s move. “The government has invited a confrontation with the main opposition,” said NC’s Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma adding, “This has just widened the rift with the main opposition at a time when the government is getting unpopular for failing to deliver on promised poll pledges”. 

Stating that the government was misguided while removing the governors, Sharma questioned the government’s priorities.                                                                   

The Constitution empowers the head of state to remove   the governors.  Governors, whose role is defined as purely ceremonial, work as the chiefs of the provincial governments like the president for the federal government. 

Shortly after their removal, the government had tried to recommend new governors but it was delayed due to lack of preparations. An emergency Cabinet meeting called for Sunday evening was deferred until Monday morning. 

“The Cabinet meeting slated for tomorrow morning will take a decision about new governors’ appointment,” said PM’s Press Advisor Kundan Aryal. 

Ministers, who were summoned at Baluwatar for Cabinet meeting, had to return after top leaders deferred the meeting for Monday 11 am saying additional discussion is essential in the party before making the recommendation. 

President Bhandari will appoint the new governors based on a recommendation from the Cabinet.

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