Rabi Lamichhane's appointment as minister unconstitutional for at least three months

Published On: February 4, 2023 11:30 AM NPT By: Tapendra Karki

Article 291 of the Constitution of Nepal does not allow appointment to any state positions for three months

KATHMANDU, Feb 4: Even though Rabi Lamichhane, chairman of Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), has regained his citizenship from the District Administration Office (DAO), Kathmandu, the existing constitutional provision does not allow him any appointment, nomination or election for three months. 

After receiving citizenship from the Kathmandu DAO last Sunday, Lamichhane is visiting Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to CPN-UML Chairman K P Sharma Oli demanding reinstatement as Deputy Prime Minister and Home minister. But according to the constitution, it seems that he cannot be given any appointment for at least three months.

According to Advocate Radhika Khatiwada, as per the constitution, Lamichhane cannot be given any appointment for three months. “Regardless of what is written elsewhere in this constitution, a citizen of Nepal who has obtained a permanent residence permit from abroad shall not be eligible for election, nomination or appointment to a position to be elected, nominated or appointed in accordance with this constitution. However, after a period of at least three months has passed, there will be no obstacle to electing, nominating or appointing a person who has given up the permanent residence permit of such a foreign country,'' Article 291 of the Constitution states.

"According to Article 291 of the Constitution, it seems that no appointment can be given to him now, there is no point in reminding anyone that according to the Constitution, all the laws and regulations are made and everyone should follow them," said Advocate Khatiwada. According to her, citizenship will be stricter. 

Lamichhane has given an ultimatum till Saturday saying that his party will quit the government if their demands are not met. He is demanding to be returned to the post of Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. 

After regaining citizenship, former Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Lamichhane has met Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal several times and is exerting pressure on him to return to reinstate him as Home Minister. Prime Minister Dahal stopped him from becoming a minister as a non-MP. 

Prime Minister Dahal said that he will not be able to return to the post until the full text of the Supreme Court's decision is made public. According to the suggestions of ruling coalition parties UML and Rastriya Prajatantra Party, the RSP has kept the decision on power sharing on a 'wait and see' basis. 

Before the RSP meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister and Chairman of Maoist Center Dahal, UML Chairman Oli and Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister and  Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Rajendra Lingden had called Lamichhane and asked him not to take a decision to quit the government in haste.

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