Quota row delays envoy appointments

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Foreing Ministry officials are pressing the political leadership for swift appointments considering the grave situation in in the Middle East

Dec 29, 2016-Wrangling between the two ruling parties—Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre)—over ambassadorial quota has delayed appointments of envoys to a dozen overseas missions.

The erstwhile KP Sharma Oli government had recommended ambassadors for 12 countries, but following the change of government a ruling by the Supreme Court axed the recommendation.

Out of the 12 vacant positions, informed sources say, NC is demanding to share 10 seats on a 70:30 ratio between it and the Maoist Centre, while allocating two seats to the Rastria Prajatantra Party and fringe parties.

On the other hand, the Maoist Centre has been insisting on a 50:50 ratio between the NC and itself. 

As the largest party, the NC should have a biggest share, said an NC leader lamenting that party President Sher Bahadur Deuba has been struggling to nominate NC names for ambassadorial appointments due to too many aspirants. Dozens of NC leaders are said to have submitted their resumes to Deuba, PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, among other influential leaders of the ruling parties. “Ambassadorial appointments have been put on hold,” said Rishi Raj Adhikari, foreign relations adviser to the PM, brushing off suggestions coming out of the NC and the Maoist Centre camps.

Foreign Minister Mahat has already spoken with PM Dahal in this regard, but the appointment process is pending due to his engagements in political meetings.

With the quota from the Foreign Ministry and career diplomats already filled, the remaining appointments are expected to be made as soon as the NC and the Maoist Centre settle over the number.

Meanwhile, senior officials at the Foreign Ministry have been pressing the political leadership for a swift appointment of envoys considering the grave situation in labour destination countries in the Middle East. Nepali missions in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Denmark, Myanmar, Oman, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka are currently without ambassador.

Published: 29-12-2016 08:14

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