Nepal chief justice to head govt

Utpal Parashar, Feb. 26 -- After keeping everyone guessing for a week Chief Justice of Nepal Supreme Court Khil Raj Regmi agreed on Monday to become the country's chief executive.

A statement issued by the assistant spokesperson of Supreme Court Hemanta Rawal on Regmi's behalf confirmed that the CJ took the decision in order to end the ongoing political and constitutional crisis.

The statement mentioned that though Regmi doesn't have any "personal ambition" to head the council of ministers he has a "positive view" on the matter to end the crisis in "national interest".

After failing to agree on who would head the national unity government that would conduct the next elections, the four major parties had agreed last week to allow Regmi to assume the role.

In a meeting with leaders of all four parties on Monday Regmi expressed willingness to assume the responsibility once constitutional and legal obstacles for his change of role are removed.

Nepal's interim constitution doesn't allow an incumbent or retired judge to become the chief justice and it will have to be amended before Regmi can take over his new responsibility.

A writ challenging Regmi's appointment as the chief executive is already pending in the Supreme Court. A special bench comprising three justices will decide on it on March 7.

As there are differences within the major parties on Regmi's elevation, he has sought assurance from all parties that they will resolve all disputes and agree on conducting next polls within early June.

"The country is now heading towards elections. All parties are resolved to address the issues raised by the Chief Justice through talks," PM Baburam Bhattarai said.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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