Thapaliya recommended for the position of chief election commissioner

- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Mar 26, 2019-

The Constitutional Council on Monday picked incumbent Secretary Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya as the chief election commissioner, the post that became vacant after the retirement of Ayodhee Prasad Yadav.

A meeting of the council, in which opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba was absent, also recommended Bishnu Maya Ojha as a member of the Inclusion Commission, according to Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, chairman of the National Assembly.

Thapaliya is a secretary at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration while Ojha is a rights activist.

The five-member Election Commission (EC) now has three commissioners after the retirement of Yadav, along with commissioner Ila Sharma, on Sunday.

The council, however, hasn’t recommended Sharma’s replacement.

Six years ago, Yadav took the helm of the constitutional body on the quota allotted to the erstwhile CPN (Maoist Centre). Sharma was appointed in the Nepali Congress quota.

Thapaliya and Ojha will have to pass parliamentary hearing before their appointment.

As the ruling parties hold a comfortable majority in the hearing committee, endorsement of the nominees looks certain.

The main opposition Nepali Congress boycotted the hearing for the chairpersons of the five constitutional commissions earlier saying that the government didn’t consult it before recommending the names.

Deuba was absent from the Constitutional Council’s meeting on January 20, which recommended chairpersons for the five commissions.

Article 283 of the statute says appointment to the constitutional bodies should be made based on the principle of inclusion. All the existing EC members—Narendra Dahal, Ishwori Poudel and Sudheer Shah—come from the Khas-Arya community and the newly recommended Thapaliya also belongs to the same group.

Now the government is left with just a single position to make the commission inclusive. Yadav represented Madhesi community while Sharma is a woman.

 “The government needs to make sure that the constitutional provision is not flouted while recommending the names,” an election commissioner told the Post seeking anonymity.

Published: 26-03-2019 08:47

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