Maoists propose chief justice as Nepal's next Prime Minister


Confirming speculation on for days, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M) has proposed that Supreme Court Chief Justice Khilraj Regmi be made the new Prime Minister. 

A proposal moved  by Maoist Chief Prachanda was unanimously adopted by UCPN-M delegates in Hetaunda, about 100-km west from here. The Maoists took up the initiative formally after President Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Chief Justice Regmi and Maoist Chief Prachanda apparently decided that such a move would end the dispute over who would head the electoral government.

But other political parties, including the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), besides constitutional experts have opposed such a move saying it infringes on the principle of separation of powers and checks and balances. 

Former Chief Justice Anup Raj Sharma said the incumbent chief justice or any judge cannot hold any other office of profit except that of Chair of the National Human Rights Commission and such an arrangement goes against the principle of separation of powers. "Well, this is not a formula that originated from the President's office," an aide to the President told ENS. Maoist Party Vice Chairman and caretaker Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has agreed to step aside if an independent person was accepted as the head of the electoral government.

What seems to have angered other political parties is the fact that the proposal of head of the judiciary heading the executive has come from a party that; has for long been advocating against independence of judiciary, or a judiciary accountable to legislature."

"If a CJ heads the executive today, Maoists can also thrust upon a Prime Minister as head of the judiciary tomorrow," constitutional lawyer Kumar Regmi said.

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