Appointments in TJ bodies hang in the balance

Kathmandu, June 23

The recommendation committee led by former chief justice of the Supreme Court Om Prakash Mishra failed to take a decision on the appointment of heads and members of two transitional justice mechanisms today again, amid widening rift between Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

The two commissions, Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons, have remained vacant ever since their members retired on April 13.

Spokesperson for the committee Sharmila Karki said it failed to hold a meeting after two of its members, Ram Nath Mainali and Prem Bahadur Khadka, remained absent. But knowledgeable sources say the panel is awaiting signal from the ruling NCP and the Nepali Congress, which have been failing to a hold dialogue to reach a consensus regarding the transitional justice bodies, thanks largely to a trust deficit between PM Oli and Dahal. Rift between PM Oli and Dahal widened after the latter brought up the issue of leading the government on rotation basis.

The two parties were already at loggerheads over sharing of posts of chairpersons of the two commissions, and the Oli-Dahal power play has further aggravated the stalemate.

The committee has collected 57 applications for members and chairs, but it can also list any eligible person’s name, even if that person has not filed an application within the deadline, at the recommendation of a recognised person or institution or at the committee’s own discretion, considering special qualification and experience of the person.

The committee’s member Prakash Osti, a representative of the National Human Rights Commission expressed dissatisfaction over its failure to take a decision. “I am just not being able to figure out why the meeting is called and cancelled time and again,” he said.