KATHMANDU, Nov 28: Referring to the recent report of Transparency International that the corruption perception had increased significantly in Nepal in the past 12 months, a civil society group has alleged that Prime Minister K P Oli had himself obstructed anti-graft bodies of the government to probe cases of big corruption in the country.
The TI report had revealed that half of the total population in the country believe that Prime Minister Oli himself was involved in corruption and the prime minister had publicly defended his cabinet colleagues accused of involving in the corruption. "In the context of prime minister publicly defending the persons involved in different corruption scams such leasing land to Yeti Holdings, Omni scam related to the procurement of medicines, widebody aircraft procurement scam and security printing press scam, a renowned global institution like Transparency International in its report has raised a serious question about his integrity," said an appeal issued by eight civil society leaders.
The group has expressed concern that the report has sent a message across the world that the cases of corruption in Nepal are increasing with the protection of the prime minister himself. Although Nepali people, mass media, and civil society have long been demanding his accountability on the corruption cases, the group alleged that the prime minister had instead made the corruption cases as a means to prolong his stay in power.
Stating that corruption cases have increased even during the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the civil society group also alleged that the current government had continued to show intolerant behavior against the civil society bodies that have sought accountability of the rulers. "Constitutionalism, rule of law, freedom of citizens, good governance, accountability, and transparency have been weakened. The move of the prime minister himself to work toward fast eroding the constitutional morality is a matter of serious concern," they said in a joint statement.
Arguing that the revelation of TI Report that The group further said that the latest revelation of TI has further widened the trust deficit against the prime minister. They have further argued that it is not good for civil society to ignore such a situation of the country's chief executive and support such a ruler to prolong his stay in power.
Those issuing the joint appeal include senior advocates Shree Hari Aryal, Dinesh Tripathi, Dr Narayan Prasad Ghimire, former police officer Ramesh Kharel, advocate Indu Tuladhar, advocate Om Prakash Aryal, advocate Indra Prasad Aryal and former president of Amnesty International Rajan Kuikel.