Dismissal of NRA Chief Gyewali widens rift between ruling coalition and oppn parties

Published On: January 12, 2017 01:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 12: The already troubled relation between the ruling coalition and the main opposition party is likely to worsen further, with the government deciding to sack the chief of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) Sushil Gyewali. 

Gyewali was appointed to the coveted post on December 25, 2015 by the erstwhile CPN-UML-led government after dismissing the incumbent NRA chief Gobinda Raj Pokharel. 

A cabinet meeting held on Wednesday decided to relieve Gyawali from his responsibilities, alleging that he failed to give momentum to the post-quake reconstruction works. The government had first sought clarifications from Gyewali on December 29, giving him a seven-day time to furnish his clarifications.

The government decided to reappoint Pokharel, who was appointed by the then Nepali Congress government led by late Sushil Koirala, after concluding that the clarification submitted by Gyewali for the second time on Sunday was not satisfactory as well. 

“This is purely a politically motivated decision. This is based on vested interests of those involved in decision-making process,” UML Standing Committee member Shankar Pokharel told Republica.

Although he chose to downplay the repercussion of the move to sack Gyewali, Pokharel maintained that such a politically motivated decision could further strain the relations between the ruling and opposition parties. “This move raises question about the intention of the government. This clearly shows that the government does not want to take opposition parties in confidence,” he further said.

The relations between ruling parties, namely NC and the CPN (Maoist Center), and the CPN-UML soured after the two parties jointly registered vote of no confidence motion to topple the CPN-UML-led government in August last year. The relations soured further after the ruling parties decided to push forward the constitution amendment bill amid strong opposition from the UML and other opposition parties.

The ruling and the main opposition party inched closer after they reached an informal understanding to lift months-long House obstruction on Sunday. But the government move is set to push the ruling and opposition parties further apart, as the UML leaders have taken it as an attempt to sideline them. Earlier, UML Chairman Oli had come down heavily against the government plan to sack Gyewali. He also alleged that the government had refused to provide NRA Chief Gyewali with necessary budget and human resources causing him hindrance to delivering results.

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