Ex deputy speaker Tumbahangphe appointed law minister

Published On: February 18, 2020 07:30 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Feb 18: A month after stepping down from the post of deputy speaker of the lower house of parliament, Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leader Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe has been appointed as Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs on Monday.

She was forced to quit the deputy speakership to pave the way for her party's another leader Agni Prasad Sapkota to contest for the speaker's post, which was vacated by the resignation of Krishna Bahadur Mahara in October last year. Mahara had quit the post after facing a charge of attempted rape. She was appointed minister on the same day when the Kathmandu District Court acquitted Mahara of the charge of attempted rape.

NCP chairmen Prime Minister Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal had assured her a ministerial berth in exchange for resigning the deputy speakership.

Some social media users termed her appointment to the minister's post as justice for her as she was forced by her party to quit from the post of deputy speaker to allow her party's Sapkota to become speaker. In the run up to her resignation, Tumbahangphe had complained that her party and the country were mired in a deep-rooted patriarchy.

“I had planned to change the track after resigning from deputy speaker last month. Now the ministerial berth will be my new track,” Tumbahangphe told Republica after assuming office on Monday.

Tumbagangphe said as law minister her top priority will be to implement the constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental rights of the citizens. “Some laws related to fundamental rights have not been fully implemented in the absence of necessary regulations. My top priority will be to work toward formulating the regulations,” said Tumbahangphe.

The position of law minister was vacant since December following the resignation of then law minister Samajbadi Party leader Upendra Yadav. Prime Minister Oli had assigned Health Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal to oversee the ministry until the appointment of a new law minister.

Prime Minister Oli, who is also a chairperson of the party, and the party's executive chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal had assured her a ministerial berth in exchange for resigning the deputy speakership. Following their assurances, Tumbahangphe resigned the post but had not moved out of her residence at the ministerial quarters at Pulchowk.

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