KATHMANDU, Sept 24: The heads of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government are all out of the country at a time when the country is passing through a series of crucial elections. Many see this as serious negligence towards domestic priorities and the important happenings within the country.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is in the USA to participate in the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara and other senior officials of the government.
Deuba, who left the country on Tuesday, is scheduled to depart New York for Muscat, Oman on Sunday. The prime minister will hold discussions with the heads of Nepali diplomatic missions in the Gulf about the problems being faced by Nepali migrant workers and measures to be adopted for their protection.
Deuba had left the country just a day before the third round local polls in Province 2.
Soon after the prime minister left for New York, Speaker Onsari Gharti departed for China. Currently, she is still in China.
Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli is also out of the country. A day before the prime minister and the speaker flew out, Parajuli headed for Japan to participate in the Conference of Chief Justices of Asia and the Pacific. Sources at the apex court said the chief justice is also scheduled to visit Russia and the US.
Asked about Parajuli's foreign visit, Supreme Court spokesperson Narayan Prasad Panthi refused to divulge details, saying he was busy. “I am here at a Dashain market and I can't say anything right now,” he replied briefly, without saying anything about the visit.
Former bureaucrats term such moves by apex officials of the country a bad precedent. “It shows that the heads of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government are not serious about the country and the people,” said former home secretary Shreekant Regmi, adding, “This is a bad precedent.”
He accused them of focusing on their personal interests over the good of the people. “Our institutions are not working to meet the people's expectations. Instead, they are guided by business interests,” said Regmi, referring to the recent parliamentary decision to endorse the Education Act amendment bill. “If they were really working in the interest of the people, why did they endorsed such a controversial bill unanimously?”