KATHMANDU, Aug 17: The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and the main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), have expedited consultations to make appointments at various constitutional bodies that have some 40 positions vacant.
Prime Minister KP Oli held consultations with the NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Baluwatar on Monday afternoon. While PM Oli was accompanied by NCP Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Deuba was accompanied by leader Ramesh Lekhak.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Oli proposed calling a meeting of the Constitutional Council at the earliest to fill the vacant positions at various constitutional bodies. The two leaders agreed to hold further discussions to expedite the appointment process.
Although there are some 40 positions vacant at various 13 constitutional bodies as provisioned in the Constitution of Nepal, 2015, the meeting largely focused on making appointments at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and the Election Commission (EC), according to sources familiar with the development. There are two positions lying vacant at each of these two constitutional bodies.
Sources said NC wants one nominee each in the CIAA and the EC—something the ruling NCP has not agreed to. NCP leaders have conveyed that they could appoint just one nominee from the NC at any one of these two constitutional bodies.
Sources said both the ruling and the main opposition party have given special interest to the appointments to be made at the CIAA. While NC President Deuba wants former Additional Inspector General of Nepal Police, Jaya Bahadur Chand at the helm of the anti-graft body, Prime Minister Oli is looking to appoint former secretary Prem Kumar Rai as the chief commissioner of the body.
A seven-member Constitutional Council headed by the prime minister recommends the names of those to be appointed at the constitutional bodies. The main opposition party leader is one of the seven members in the Constitutional Council.
According to a press statement issued by the NC, Deuba also drew the attention of the government to work effectively to curb the spread of COVID-19 and provide assistance to the families of those affected by the recent floods and landslides. He also asked Prime Minister Oli in his capacity as the chancellor to pay special attention to create a conducive environment for academic activities in various universities.