KATHMANDU, Feb 23: While reiterating that the legal fraternity cannot accept a chief justice-led government, Nepal Bar Association (NBA) on Friday warned of staging protest across the country if the major parties went ahead with their proposal of forming a CJ-led interim government to hold fresh polls.
NBA, which is an umbrella organization of lawyers across the country, repeated its stance against CJ-led government during a consultation Friday with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and senior leaders of UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front.
The prime minister as well as other party leaders had sought cooperation from NBA to form a CJ-led poll government "for resolving the protracted political deadlock in the country".
"We clearly told the prime minister and the party leaders that NBA cannot accept any proposal to form new government under the sitting chief justice. Such a move goes against the spirit of constitutionalism and the principle of separation of powers," said NBA General Secretary Sunil Pokharel.
During the meeting held at the Prime Minister´s Office in Singha Durbar, NBA officials had read out the press statement they had issued earlier this week shortly after the four major political forces made an understanding to form CJ-led government to hold fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) polls by mid-June. The statement had strongly criticized the parties´ understanding.
NBA officials had argued that their stance against a CJ-led government was in the best interest of political parties as this aims to promote party politics. "It can never be a good idea to form a government under the chief justice, sidelining the political parties. How would you go to the people for votes if you fail to form government of political party leaders?" a leader present at the meeting quoted NBA officials questioning to them.
Party leaders had argued that CJ-led poll government would be the best option to resolve the current political deadlock as the parties failed to forge consensus on any political leader. "The chief justice has said that he cannot lead poll government without support from the NBA. We expect your support in forming new government under CJ," Pokharel quoted UDMF Coordinator Bijaya Gachchhadar as telling to them.
While asking the party leaders to form government led under a political leader or an independent person or a former chief justice, the NBA officials also warned of launching fresh protests across the country if the parties did not heed their suggestions. "Formation of a new government under a sitting chief justice will hurt our basic values. We will hold consultation with all our 86 units across the country and launch fresh stir if our suggestion is not heeded," Pokharel further said.
Hearing on CJ-led govt deferred for Sunday
A hearing on the writ filed at the Supreme Court challenging the four major parties´ preparation to form an election government led by sitting chief justice has been postponed till Sunday.
Hemanta Rawal, deputy spokesman at the apex court, said the hearing could not be conducted due to lack of time as there were several other cases ahead of it on the list for Friday.
Justice Kalyan Shrestha was to hear the case. Advocate Bharat Mani Jangam had filed the writ petition Sunday seeking an interim order against the preparation of the four major political forces -- UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front.
The petitioner has argued that the move would encroach on the independence of judiciary. He has also sought an apex court order for the formation of a government within a month to conduct fresh election to the Constituent Assembly (CA) and parliament.