Uprety named envoy to India

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 17, 2018-

The government has named former chief election commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety as the ambassador to India.

The position in New Delhi, considered a plum diplomatic posting, had been vacant after Deep Kumar Upadhyay resigned last October to contest the federal parliamentary elections. A Cabinet meeting on Monday also picked Udaya Raj Pandey, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, as Nepal’s envoy to Malaysia. The mission had been lying vacant for several months.

Both Uprety and Pandey are considered close to the CPN- UML, which was merged with the CPN (Maoist Centre) in May to form the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), the ruling party.

Uprety was at the helm of the constitutional Election Commission when the two Constituent Assembly elections were held in 2008 and 2013. He also served the United Nations electoral operations in Afghanistan during 2004-2005. Both the recommendations were made in line with the new criteria set by the government, according to Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali. The government has made it mandatory for the appointees to take their oath of office from the prime minister before taking up the assignment.

Uprety holds an MA in Economics from Tribhuvan University, Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration from the TU, and MS in Computing Science from Staffordshire University, the United Kingdom.

The names will be sent to the Parliamentary Hearing Committee for hearing. After the panel endorses a nominee, the appointment is announced by the President’s Office. However, Upreti’s nomination has been questioned citing the constitution. Clause 245 (8) of the constitution says that an election commissioner will be ineligible for appointment to another government service. Government sources said Upreti’s nomination is based on this clause. Constitutional expert Chandra Kanta Gyawali contested the claim.

Legal rider? What Clause 245 (8) says

A person once appointed as the chief election commissioner and an election commissioner shall not be eligible for appointment to any other government service. Provided that nothing in this clause shall be deemed to be a bar to the appointment to any political position or to any position which has the responsibility of making investigations, inquiries or findings on any subject, or to any position which has the responsibility of submitting advice, opinion or recommendation after carrying out a study or research on any subject

Published: 17-07-2018 07:26

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