Government picks new governors after sacking Deuba-period appointeesPresident Bhandari will administer oath of office to new governors on Tuesday.
The government on Monday recommended new governors for all seven provinces.
After a secretariat meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Communist Party finalised the names, a Cabinet meeting recommended Somnath Adhikary as governor for Province 1; Tilak Pariyar for Province 2, Bishnu Prasai for Province 3, Amik Sherchan for Gandaki, Dharmendra Yadav for Province 5, Govinda Kalauni for Karnali and Sharmila Tripathi governor for Sudur Paschim.
The names have been sent to the Office of the President.
“The President’s office has received a letter recommending governors for all provinces. After the President authenticates the decision, the process to appoint them will start,” said Bhesh Raj Adhikary, chief personal secretary of the President.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed governors on Tuesday morning, said Adhikary.
The Cabinet on Sunday had sacked governors of all seven provinces who were appointed by the Sher Bahadur Deuba government in January last year.
The Deuba government had appointed Govinda Bahadur Tumbahang of Dhankuta as governor for Province 1; Ratneswor Lal Kayastha of Kathmandu for Province 2; Anuradha Koirala of Kathmandu for Province 3; Baburam Kunwar of Arghakhanchi for Gandaki Province; Umakanta Jha of Dhanusha for Province 5; Durga Keshar Khanal of Surkhet for Karnali Province; and Mohan Raj Malla of Kailali for Sudur Paschim Province.
Though the move was constitutionally sound, constitutional experts had called the decision politically incorrect.
It is largely believed that the government's decision to sack the governors, whose roles are largely ceremonial, was made in order to manage the leaders of the ruling party, as it continues to struggle to complete the unification.
Even after more than a year and a half, the ruling party, which was formed after the merger between the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre), has not been able to conclude the unification process, as it has too many aspirants for various posts and positions—inside and outside the party.
Of the seven names picked on Sunday, three—Sharmila Tripathi of Kathmandu, Amik Sherchan of Chitwan and Tilak Pariyar of Banke—are from the former Maoist side and four —Bishnu Prasai of Jhapa, Somnath Adhikary Pyasi of Kaski, Govinda Kalauni of Dadeldhura and Dharmanath Yadav of Siraha— are from the former UML side, especially from Prime Minister and party Co-chair KP Sharma Oli’s faction.
The secretariat meeting had rejected the names proposed by senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, leaving an already unhappy leader further dissatisfied. Nepal has his own faction from the UML days in the ruling Nepal Communist Party.
Nepal had recommended Beduram Bhusal, Shree Maya Thakali, Biswokanta Mainali and Raghuji Panta.
According to a secretariat member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal and Bamdev Gautam had expressed their dissatisfaction over the selection of the names, saying that the decision was not balanced.
“The three leaders were for including Shree Maya Thakali on the list but that did not happen,” the secretariat member told the Post.
According to leaders, the move by Oli to pick leaders from his faction as governors shows the urgency he feels to consolidate his power, just as he struggles with his ailment.
Oli even did not even consult with the coalition partner Samajbadi Party Nepal. Earlier Deuba government had picked Ratneswor Lal Kayastha from the then Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal.
Oli, who underwent a kidney transplant 12 years ago, last week underwent two rounds of dialysis in as many days, raising concerns whether he is fit enough to govern.
At Saturday’s secretariat meeting, Oli had told leaders that doctors would decide on his future medical course soon—whether to go for another kidney transplant or regular dialysis.