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Regmi Cabinet gets full shape with eight new ministers; SC rules Regmi to act only as Chief of Government not Judiciary

KATHMANDU: Almost one week after the formation of Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi led government, the Interim Election Commission finally received full shape with induction of eight more members on Monday.

Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi, who is also the head of the Interim Election Council, nominated eight members in the Interim government. The newly appointed ministers are Shankar Koirala, Chabi Lal Pant, Madhav Poudel, Bidhyadhar Mallik, Tek Bahadur Gharti Thapa, Ram Kumar Shrestha, Uma Kant Jha, Riddhi Babu Pradhan. Koirala will assume the portfolio of Ministry of Finance and Supply, while Pant, Poudel and Mallik Ministries of Finance, Industry and Supply; Ministries of Education, Information and Communications and General Administration; and Ministries of Federal Affairs and Health.

Similarly, Pant, Gharti and Shrestha will assume the portfolios of Physical Planning and Cooperatives; Ministries of Agriculture and Forest and Soil Conservation and Ministries of Youth, Peace and Tourism respectively. Jha will assume the portfolio of Energy, Science and Technology and Irrigation and Pradhan will be the Ministers of Women and Children and Lan Reform.

The newly appointed ministers take oath of office at the office of the President on Monday itself. Earlier, Regmi appointed former Chief Secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Home Affairs, while Hari Prasad Neupane was appointed as Minister of Law. Now the full strength of the new cabinet reached to 11. The political parties, who used to form cabinet comprising more than three dozen ministers have agreed to form 11-member Interim Government.

Despite commitment of political parties not to interfere in the day to day affairs of the Regmi led election government all the ministers were appointed based on the recommendations of political parties which has raised suspicion about impartiality of the election government.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that as long as Election Council Chairperson Regmi is the top executive of the government, he will not be identified as Chief Justice of the apex court.

Responding to a writ petition filed by Advocate Chandrakanta Gyawali demanding that Regmi resign from the post of Chief Justice in view of the principles of separation of power, Justice Girish Chandra Lal made the ruling. Following the SC’s move, Chairman of the newly formed IEC Regmi will hold his position as only the head of the IEC until the new elections to the Constituent Assembly are held.

Chief Justice Regmi was appointed head of the Election Council on Thursday following an agreement among four major political forces.

Published Date: Monday, March 18th, 2013 | 12:16 PM

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