Nepal Chief Justice likely to be sworn in as prime minister

Nepal Chief Justice likely to be sworn in as prime minister

Ending months of political deadlock, Nepal’s four major political parties have reached a deal to form an election government as the thorny issues were resolved during a marathon meeting and Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi is likely to be sworn-in as prime minister on Wednesday night.

Top leaders of the parties signed an 11-point political consensus document to form a chief justice-led election government. This will be endorsed by the existing cabinet after which it will be taken to the president for approval.

This will be for the first time in Nepalese political history that a sitting chief justice is being named as the head of the government, sources said.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai will make way for Chief Justice Regmi who is likely to be sworn-in on Wednesday night, sources said.

“The political parties have reached consensus on four key issues including citizenship, voters’ list, Truth and Reconciliation Commission and rank of the former Maoist combatants to be integrated into the Nepal Army after a marathon 12-hour meeting,” said central member of Nepali Congress Bimalendra Nidhi.

Nidhi was present during the 12-hour marathon meeting attended by UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and Joint Madhesi Front.Now the 63-year-old Chief Justice Regmi will be sworn-in as the chairman of the Council of Ministers that would conduct election to the Constituent Assembly, Nidhi told PTI. The decision was taken during the meeting of the top leaders of the four major parties, he said.

The meeting convened at the office of the Special Committee for Army Integration, was attended by Unified CPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda, Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal and senior Madhesi leader and Health Minister Rajendra Mahato among others.

After the cabinet endorses the decision, top leaders of the major parties will again meet at the Special Committee office to put their signature tonight and the decision will be forwarded to President Ram Baran Yadav, who will officially appoint the Chief Justice as head of the Council of Ministers, sources said.

However some 18 fringe political parties including CPN-Maoist led by Mohan Vaidya, the breakaway faction of the UCPN-Maoist, have submitted a memorandum to the President today showing their reservation to the decision.

The major parties have also agreed to conduct the Constituent Assembly polls.

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