Nepal’s first female chief justice has been suspended after an impeachment motion filed against her was signed by members of parliament.
The two main parties in the ruling coalition – the Maoists and the Nepali Congress (NC) – accused Sushila Karki of interference after the Supreme Court last month overturned the government’s choice for chief of police.
The government had appointed Jaya Bahadur Chand as police chief, but the court ruled that the highest-ranking officer Navaraj Silwal should take the top job.
“We have decided to impeach Chief Justice Sushila Karki … after she visibly started taking sides in cases,” Min Biswakarma, a member of the ruling coalition and an NC member of parliament, who proposed the motion, told AFP news agency on Monday.
Hours later, Bimalendra Nidhi, deputy prime minister and NC member, resigned in protest. One of the smaller coalition parties – Rastriya Prajatantra Party – has also threatened to quit the government.
KP Sharma Oli, leader of the Communist Party of Nepal and former prime minister, also criticised the government’s move.
But the Communist Party of Nepali (Maoist Centre) of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, and its main coalition partner, the NC, are together on the issue.
Karki’s supporters say she has taken a strong stance against corruption during her year-long tenure as head of the Supreme Court.
The motion to impeach her was signed by 249 legislators from the NC and the CPN (Maoist Centre). The government said she breached Article 75 of the constitution, which outlines the government’s executive powers.
A committee will now be established to investigate the allegations of bias, after which MPs will vote on whether to impeach her.
But the process is unlikely to get that far as she is due to retire in June when she turns 65.
Lok Raj Baral, a political analyst, told Al Jazeera that Karki’s suspension is the latest case of the judiciary versus the executive in Nepal.
“Karki took a tough stance against corruption, but she was a bit aggressive – that annoyed the politicians,” he said.
Nepal has a history of political interference in key civil appointments such as the head of police.
The Himalayan country has had nine governments since the end of the civil war in 2006, with each successive administration seeking to fill key positions with their loyalists.
But Baral said that the stability of the current government was not threatened as some political parties outside the coalition are ready to back the government.
Local elections are due later this month, followed by provincial and then national elections by the end of the year.
Israel to ban entry of foreigners from all countries over Omicron
Parts of Highways 1 and 3 now closed in B.C., Highway 99 closing at 4 p.m. due to storm
COVID-19 variant spreads to more countries as world on alert
Newfoundland town mobilizes to feed truckers stranded after massive storm
Abbotsford mayor ‘extremely concerned’ about potential for flooding from U.S. this weekend
Asia1 week ago
New Delhi’s air pollution still extremely high despite emergency measures
World6 days ago
Third night of violence in Guadeloupe as France sends police special forces
Middle East1 week ago
‘People will be harmed’ as Lebanon’s cash-strapped government cuts medicine subsidies
Europe1 week ago
German disease control head warns of ‘really terrible Christmas’ due to COVID-19
Europe1 week ago
G7 nations condemn Belarus over ‘aggressive’ migration policies
Health1 week ago
Merck’s COVID-19 pill partner in India sees a short-lived boom
Europe5 days ago
Explosion at Missile Factory Near Belgrade Reportedly Kills 2, Injures 16 – Video, Photo
Asia1 week ago
China coast guard uses water cannon against Philippine boats