Shrestha, Gautam object to govt pick for Delhi mission

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 21, 2018-

Some senior Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders have objected to the government’s decision to recommend the name of former Chief Elections Commissioner, Neel Kantha Upreti, as the ambassador to India.

NCP leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Bamdev Gautam, during Thursday’s secretariat meeting of the party, expressed their reservations over Upreti’s recommendation, and urged Prime Minister KP Oli to withdraw his name.

According to the party sources, Shrestha, who is also the party spokesperson, said told the meeting a person who had already served as the election commissioner and the chief election commissioner should not be handed another important political post.

“The decision is not well thought out. The government should review its decision,” Shrestha said. Some other leaders also seconded Shrestha’s call for carrying out adequate discussion in the party to pick the right candidate for the job of Indian ambassador.

Gautam said he had three concerns regarding Upreti’s recommendation: First, Upreti had already served the ‘office of profit’ as the election commissioner and the chief elections commissioner; second, the Article 245 (8) of the Constitution deems former election commissioner or chief election commissioner ineligible for other government service; and third, Upreti does not fit the recently approved criteria for ambassadorial post that requires the candidate to have knowledge of diplomacy and the politics of the concerned country.

Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, on the other hand, defended Upreti’s recommendation. He dismissed the arguments presented by Shrestha and Gautam that made Upreti ‘unfit and ineligible’ to become the ambassador to India. “Whoever says that Upreti’s recommendation is against the constitution should read the constitution carefully. His recommendation was a well-considered decision and made within the limits of the constitution,” he said. Amid the controversy over ambassadorial nominee to India, Upreti was incidentally in India on a pilgrimage when the Post contacted him.

“I cannot comment on the matter that I have no knowledge of,” he said of the controversy. But he did concede that some people may have been unhappy with my recommendation.

Published: 21-07-2018 08:02

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