Nepal’s Chief Justice ready to head poll govt

Kathmandu: Nepal's Supreme Court Chief Justice Khilaraj Regmi on Monday said that he is ready to head the election government to end the lingering political crisis plaguing the country.

The chief justice is positive regarding the proposal to head the government with a view to ending the ongoing political as well as constitutional deadlock but not for personal ambition, Hemanta Rawal, assistant spokesperson of the apex court, said in a statement.

The statement further stated that "the chief justice would move ahead along with consensus among the political parties, resolving constitutional and legal complexities and respecting decision of the judiciary."

"The Supreme Court believes that discussion on the formation of the chief justice led government is in accordance with his respect to human rights, commitment for independence of judiciary, his contributions in the field of justice for the past four decades and respect to the judiciary," said the statement.

However, final decision regarding the formation of the CJ led government is likely to be taken only after March 5, when the next hearing on the case filed against the move to appoint Chief Justice the Prime Minister will take place.

Advocate Bharat Jangam had filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court last week challenging the decision of four major political parties -UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) – to form a government headed by the Chief Justice.

Earlier, reports said the Chief Justice had expressed his reservation to accept the responsibility of heading the election government in the wake of objection raised by the judicial community and some smaller parties.

According to the reports, the Chief Justice had during his meeting with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai had maintained that he would not lead the government if there was no consensus among political parties and had even questioned the commitment of the political parties to hold Constituent Assembly elections by mid-June.

Meanwhile, the meeting of top leaders of four major political forces has welcomed the statement issued by the Supreme Court.

The meeting also directed the eight member task force to make necessary preparations to clear legal hurdles for formation of the CJ led government, said Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi, who is also one of the members of the task force.

Nepal had plunged into a political and constitutional crisis after the Constituent Assembly was dissolved by Maoist Prime Minister Bhattarai in May last year without drafting the constitution.

The crisis further deepened as Bhattarai announced fresh elections in November last year but failed to conduct polls.