Lawmakers make a case for giving CIAA chief the bootParliament on Tuesday started theoretical discussion on an impeachment motion against Lokman Singh Karki, with around a dozen lawmakers airing their views in support of the motion.
Parliament on Tuesday started theoretical discussion on an impeachment motion against Lokman Singh Karki, with around a dozen lawmakers airing their views in support of the motion.
On Wednesday evening, 157 lawmakers from the governing CPN (Maoist Centre) and the main opposition CPN-UML had registered the motion at the Parliament Secretariat, seeking to impeach Karki, in the first impeachment process ever initiated in the country’s parliamentary history.
Karki remains suspended as the chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).
Tabling the motion before the House, Maoist Centre lawmaker Mahendra Bahadur Shahi presented 10 reasons that prompted the Maoist Centre and the UML to initiate an impeachment process against the chief of the anti-graft body. “Karki’s actions violated the principle of civilian and constitutional supremacy and he was running a parallel government,” said Shahi. “He used the state machinery including state intelligence as a means to fulfil his personal interest,” Shahi told Parliament. He urged all parties to join hands to endorse the motion.
Seconding the motion, UML Chief Whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal said Karki’s continuous attacks on the parliamentary supremacy and judicial proceedings were the reasons that forced them to move the impeachment motion against him. Recalling the act of Karki to snub the summons of the Parliamentary Finance Committee on November 2014 and scrap licenses of hydropower projects going against the committee’s direction, Dhakal said it was a direct attack on parliamentary supremacy. “He terrorised people from different quarters in the name of filing corruption cases against them and blackmailed them for his personal benefit,” he told the House. Stating that it was the Nepali Congress which first called for action against Karki, Dhakal expressed hope that the NC would vote in favour of the motion.
The NC though is yet to come up with a clear position on the impeachment motion, its lawmakers, while speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, stood in favour of the proposal. NC lawmaker and Health Minister Gagan Thapa, who was the first speaker during Tuesday’s House meeting, said lawmakers had no other option but to vote to impeach Karki.
Drawing parallels between Karki and J Edgar Hoover, who played an instrumental role in founding the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US but was later found to have blackmailed political dissenter and activists by amassing their secret information using illegal methods, Thapa called on all parties to come together to endorse the motion.
“The earthquake brought divided parties together to promulgate the constitution. Now this is another opportunity for them to join hands for its implementation,” he said.
Thapa also asked top leaders to clarify what led them to appoint a tainted person as the chief of the constitutional body. Lawmakers from Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantatrik, CPN-ML and Rastriya Prajantra Party-Nepal welcomed the motion and said their parties would make “a right decision at the right time”.