CJ finally agrees to lead election govt
KATHMANDU, Feb 26: Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi has expressed readiness to make a ´sacrifice´ in the broader interests of the nation and the people.
Regmi made the remark while responding to a request ny top leaders of the four major political parties and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Monday morning to assume the leadership of a new government to hold fresh elections.
"I am positive over your request. I am ready to even make sacrifices in the broader interests of nation and people," a party leader quoted Chief Justice Regmi as saying to the political leaders.
Chief Justice Regmi´s remark about making a ´sacrifice´ has been taken ´meaningfully´ at a time when various opposition parties have been demanding that he should step down from the post of chief justice before heading an election government. Though the top leaders were asked to clarify what Regmi meant by ´sacrifice´, none of them was able to provide a convincing answer to the second-rung leaders present at the four-party meeting held at the Special Committee Secretariat at New Baneshwor later in the afternoon.
However, according to a senior leader, Chief Justice Regmi could mean that he would not resume his duties as chief justice after heading the poll government. The leader also claimed that Regmi has informally conveyed to top leaders of major parties that he would tender his resignation after holding the polls by mid-December. Regmi´s term as chief justice runs till June, 2014.
Earlier, the parties had already worked out an agreement to appoint the acting chief justice as seniormost justice at the SC while the chief justice serves as head of the new government, to ensure indepedence of the judiciary in dispensing justice.
Chief Justice Regmi, in a statement later in the afternoon, expressed his readiness to head an election government as per the request of top leaders of the four major parties during their meeting with him in the morning. The four-party meeting held at the Special Secretariat welcomed the readiness of Chief Justice Regmi to head the poll government, saying his decision would help to resolve the deadlock.
Talking to media persons after the meeting, NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel said the chief justice had clarified his position on their request institutionally. "It is very positive that the chief justice has agreed to become executive head to pave the way for the formation of a consensus government at this hour of constitutional crisis. We welcome and supported his decisiom," he said.
Also, UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha told media persons that the four-party meeting welcomed the public statement of Chief Justice Regmi that he was ready to head an election government. "The prime minister and top leaders of the four major political forces had held a meeting with the chief justice. He has responded positively to our request to head a poll government. We welcome his decision," he said.
The four-party meeting also decided to ask the taskforce comprising members of all four political forces to undertake necessary homework to resolve the constitutional and legal difficulties surrounding fresh polls. The next four-party meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon will hold discussions on the proposal prepared by the taskforce.
According to a leader present in the negotiations, the parties are still at odd whether to immediately resolve the constitutional difficulties or wait till the verdict of the SC on a petition against making the chief justice the new prime minister.
While NC and UML leaders have suggested waiting until the apex court verdict scheduled for March 7, the Maoists have pressed for settling the constitutional and legal difficulties immediately to ensure early polls.