Constitutional Council names new PSC chief in a controversial meeting

File: Madhav Regmi

Kathmandu, May 9

A meeting of the Constitutional Council has proposed former secretary Madhav Regmi as the new chief of the Public Service Commission, the constitutional body responsible for the recruitment of the government staff.

The council meeting on Sunday morning chaired by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli proposed Regmi for the chief commissioner’s position that is vacant since the retirement of incumbent Umesh Prasad Mainali a few months ago.

A permanent resident of Oli’s home district, Jhapa, Regmi had retired as the PSC secretary in 2016 July. Although he was considered loyal to the main opposition Nepali Congress, he had been lobbying for the position of late.

Regmi is the elder brother of the Supreme Court Justice Kumar Regmi. Justice Regmi was a member of the bench that ruled the reinstatement of the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre into their pre-2018 positions in March. The verdict had made Prime Minister Oli, who had become weak in the then Nepal Communist Party, powerful. Therefore, many have interpreted Madhav Regmi’s choice for the PSC chairman as Oli’s favour to Justice Regmi who had given him relief two months ago.

The Constitutional Council meeting today hard turned controversial two members of the council–Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota and main opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba–had boycotted it protesting the government’s decision to issue an ordinance to enable the council to make decisions on the simple majority basis.

A few writ petitions against the ordinance are under trial at the Supreme Court. But still, Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana participated in the meeting.

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