Nepal | July 09, 2020

Governors of all seven provinces sacked

Ram Kumar Kamat
Share Now:

Kathmandu, November 3

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has, on the recommendation of the government, sacked the governors of all seven provinces. The main opposition Nepali Congress has condemned the move.

The Office of the President stated in its press release that President Bhandari relieved the governors of their posts in accordance with Article 165 (1) (b) of the constitution. A Cabinet meeting held earlier today had recommended that the president remove the governors from their offices.

Article 165 (1) lists situations when the post of governor falls vacant. 165 (1) (b) stipulates that the post of governor shall become vacant if his or her term of office expires and he or she is removed from office by the president prior to expiration of the term. Normally, governors can serve for five years.

Article 163 (3) of the constitution stipulates: The term of office of governor shall be five years except when the president removes him or her from office prior to expiration of his or her term of office.

The governors who lost their jobs today include Govinda Bahadur Tumbahang of Province 1, Ratneshwor Lal Kayastha of Province 2, Anuradha Koirala of Province 3, Baburam Kunwar of Gandaki Province, Uma Kant Jha of Province 5, Durga Keshar Khanal of Karnali Province and Mohan Raj Malla of Sudurpaschim Province. Sher Bahadur Deuba’s government had recommended their names on January 17.

Kunwar told THT that he was a lawyer and personally felt relieved as he could now practice law, but he termed the government’s decision ‘height of anarchy’. “This decision is an attack on the constitutional provisions and rule of law and it is also against federalism,” he said.

He said the government’s decision to sack him was mala fide action because he had not done anything wrong. “A governor’s post cannot remain vacant even for a minute. The government arbitrarily removed us without giving us any chance to be heard,” he said.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Radhe Shyam Adhikari, who is also a senior advocate, told THT that the government’s decision was constitutionally untenable. “Governors have five years’ fixed term, but if the government decides to remove them before their term ends, then the government must level charge against them and if the government accuses them of wrongdoing, then it must give them a chance to be heard,” Adhikari said.

He said the case could be tested by the Supreme Court if the governors who were removed from office today moved the court challenging the decision.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari administering oath of office and secrecy to newly appointed governors of provinces, at Shital Niwas, Kathmandu, on Friday, January 19, 2018. Photo courtesy: Office of the President

These governors were appointed by the Deuba-led government, but successive governments cannot make whimsical decisions to overturn the decisions of the previous government.

Bimalendra Nidhi, vice-president of Nepali Congress, the main opposition party, said the government’s decision sacking all the governors violated not only the constitutional provisions but also the election code of conduct.

“As per the spirit of the constitution, the government must give these governors a chance to be heard before deciding to remove them from office,” Nidhi said.

He said the government’s decision was prejudiced and immature. “The government’s move is also aimed at weakening federalism,” he added.

Senior Advocate Surendra Kumar Mahto, however, said the government had the power to remove governors, but it could have justified its move had it removed them immediately after coming to power.

“The former CPN-UML and the CPN-MC had told the Deuba-led government to appoint new governors only with their consent. When Deuba was preparing to appoint these governors, some UML leaders had even threatened to remove the new governors, but they did not remove them immediately after coming to power,” Mahto added.

A version of this article appears in print on November 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Trump administration informs United Nations of US withdrawal from WHO

KATHMANDU: Trump administration that has been critical of the World Health Organisation (WHO) over its handling of coronavirus pandemic has formally withdrawn the United States from the UN health body, on Tuesday. The United Nations confirmed that the US would leave WHO on July 6, 2021, following Read More...

China, US trade tit-for-tat visa curbs over Tibet

BEIJING/WASHINGTON:  China said on Wednesday it will impose visa restrictions on US citizens who have engaged in what it called "egregious" behaviour over Tibet, in apparent retaliation against US restrictions on Chinese officials. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday the United Sta Read More...

West Indies must try to win inside four days: Lara

LONDON: Batting great Brian Lara has said West Indies' best chance of victory against England is to race out to an early lead and secure the win inside five days. All-rounder Jason Holder is part of the tourists' impressive bowling attack but questions remain about their batting ahead of the Read More...

Foreign students fret over being sent home after US visa rule

When the phone rang Tuesday morning, Raul Romero had barely slept. The 21-year-old Venezuelan, on a scholarship at Ohio’s Kenyon College, had spent hours pondering his options after US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday that international students taking classes fully online f Read More...

255 new cases of coronavirus infection recorded on Wednesday; nationwide tally reaches 16,423

KATHMANDU: Ministry of Health and Population has confirmed 255 new cases of the coronavirus infection on Wednesday, which has taken the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 16,423. In the last 24 hours, 253 people have been discharged from health facilities across the country after recovery from COVID-19 Read More...

Lampard says Pulisic has raised his game at Chelsea

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes Christian Pulisic has taken his game to another level after the forward scored in Tuesday's 3-2 Premier League victory at Crystal Palace. The 21-year-old, who became the most expensive American soccer player when he joined Chelsea in January 2019 for 64 Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 255 new cases, 253 recoveries, no deaths

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 266,457 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method and 312,402 Rapid Diagn Read More...

In Pictures: Rallying forth in Prime Minister's support

Supporters of Prime Minister KP Oli organised a rally at Lagankhel, Lalitpur, on Wednesday, for the seventh day. The pro-prime minister demonstrations were held in the wake of recent political developments wherein PM Oli is being asked to step down from his either of his posts. Read More...