President’s political advisor Sushil Pyakurel quits

Kathmandu, January 24

President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s Political Advisor Sushil Pyakurel resigned from his post protesting Agni Prasad Sapkota’s candidacy for the post of speaker.

Sapkota, the only lawmaker to have filed candidacy for the post of speaker, will be announced  winner on Sunday when the Parliament Secretariat announces the election result.

Pyakurel, a leading human rights activist, had filed a case at the Supreme Court during Baburam Bhattarai’s premiership challenging Sapkota’s induction in Bhattarai’s Cabinet.

The SC had then issued an order to the police telling it to update the court about progress in the case filed by Purnimaya Lama against Sapkota. Purnimaya has accused Sapkota of playing a role in the abduction and murder of her husband Arjun Lama. Pyakurel issued a press release after tendering his resignation stating the reasons for his resignation.

Pyakurel, who had recently issued a statement along with other human rights activists and civil society members urging stakeholders to bar Sapkota from becoming the speaker, has not said anything clearly about Sapkota in his press release. When asked about the reasons for his resignation, Pyakurel said, he only said he had stated the reasons for his resignation in his press release and would be speaking more about them in the coming days, but not today.

A source close to Pyakurel, however, told THT that Pyakurel, who had filed a case against Sapkota, deemed it would be morally wrong for him to serve President Bidya Devi Bhandari as she would have to administer oath of office and secrecy to Sapkota once he was declared winner. “Pyakurel resigned in view of all the moral values he had stood for all these years,” the source added. The source also said Pyakurel wanted the court to conduct proper hearing in the case filed against Sapkota.

Without mentioning Sapkota’s name, Pyakurel stated in his press release that all high post holders must show high moral conduct and accountability towards the country and citizens. He said the country should improve its international image by ensuring human rights and social justice within the political system the country established after fighting a long crusade and for this the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), which is in power now,  could contribute. Pyakurel also said the main opposition party Nepali Congress should rise above share-the-spoils politics and play its role in this regard.

“I have dedicated my life to the cause of democracy and social justice and therefore I am always committed to my duty. In order to respect the aspiration of all people who want to see everybody treated as equal before the law, I have decided to resign from my post,” Pyakurel stated in his press release. He also stated that he had always found the president holding the firm view that no constitutional body and state organ should deviate from the duty of upholding democratic norms and values. The president has accepted Pyakurel’s resignation.