Is Mishra panel waiting for political consensus to finalise nominees for transitional justice bodies?

  • Panel member denies seat-sharing deal among parties, but sources say major political parties are in negotiations to finalise the share before Oli’s Europe trip
- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

May 29, 2019-

Two months have passed since its formation, and the committee led by former Supreme Court chief justice Om Prakash Mishra is still struggling to recommend new leaderships in the two transitional justice bodies, which have been vacant for more than a month now.

A meeting of the recommendation committee on Tuesday categorised the applicants based on their community and gender, but didn’t take any decision regarding the selection of nominees.

The members of the committee have claimed that the complex selection procedure is delaying the recommendation process.

However, those privy to the development say that the committee is waiting for the top political parties to finalise the seat-sharing deal in the two commissions.

Sources told the post that the ruling and opposition parties were still in negotiations regarding sharing of seats in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons..

Top leaders of the Nepal Communist Party and the Nepali Congress have held several rounds of negotiations to find an agreement, but haven’t reached found yet. They are scheduled to hold another round of meeting in an attempt to finalise the seat-sharing deal in a couple of days.

“It is possible that they will reach to an agreement before Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s Europe visit,”said an official aware of the development.

Ram Nath Mainali, a member of the recommendation committee, denied that the committee was waiting for a political consensus to finalise the nomination list.

“Picking competent persons is always challenging. We are still working on the selection process,” he told the Post.

Responding to the committee’s call, 57 people applied for the posts of the chairperson and members of the two commissions.

Former Supreme Court justice Kamal Narayan Das, former appellate court chief judge duo Ali Akbar Mikrani and Kalauddhin Akhtar Ansari, and former government secretary Madhu Regmi are among the applicants for the chairperson’s post in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The committee has short-listed the names from among the applicants, but it has not yet decided on its own nominees. Mainali said that the committee would consult with the government only after finalising the nomination list.

“It’s the government that facilitates the commissions. We, therefore, need its consent before finalising the names,” he said. The five-member committee was formed on March 25 with the mandate to recommend nominees to lead the two transitional justice commissions.The committee is scheduled to meet on June 10.

“The next meeting of the committee will possibly finalise the names,”said an official at Ministry of Law and Justice, not wanting to be identified as he was not allowed to talk to the media.The representatives of the conflict victims have been demanding to make amendments to the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act and select new leaderships in the two transitional justice bodies simultaneously.

“Both the process must go together without any delay or pretensions. The amended Act should be in place by the time new teams come into function,” Suman Adhikari former chair of Conflict Victims Common Platform told the Post.

Published: 29-05-2019 09:44

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