Selection of envoy to India ‘in limbo’The government is thinking over an alternative for Neel Kantha Uprety, the proposed ambassador for India, since the Cabinet has not authenticated his recommendation.
The government is thinking over an alternative for Neel Kantha Uprety, the proposed ambassador for India, since the Cabinet has not authenticated his recommendation.
On July 17 the Cabinet decided to recommend former Chief Election Commissioner Uprety as the next ambassador to India and Udaya Raj Pandey to Malaysia.
Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli visited India and Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi paid a State Visit to Nepal without having Nepali ambassador in New Delhi.
The post is vacant since October 2017.
Multiple sources at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Uprety’s nomination is in limbo because of several reasons.
Prime Minister Oli is trying his best to convince top party leaders, but the chances of authenticating Uprety’s nomination are slim. His recommendation is neither authenticated nor cancelled it is in a limbo, said officials.
Officials with knowledge on the issue told Post some Nepal Communist Party leaders have reservations on Uprety’s nomination.
The other objection is how can an official who has served as chief of a constitutional body hold another office of profit?
If Uprety is authenticated someone could challenge the decision in court, citing the constitutional provision that he is not suitable for the post. This could affect the image of the government, senior NCP leaders fear.
Legal and constitutional experts’ have divergent opinions over Uprety’s recommendation.
According to Article 245 (8) of the constitution, an official once appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner and an Election Commissioner shall not be eligible for appointment to any other government service.
The Article says, “Provided that nothing in this clause shall be deemed to be a bar to the appointment to any political position or to any position which has the responsibility of making investigations, inquiries or findings on any subject, or to any position which has the responsibility of submitting advice, opinion or recommendation after carrying out a study or research on any subject.”
NCP leaders Subas Chandra Nembang, Bamdev Gautam and Narayan Kaji Shrestha have expressed their reservations over Uprety’s recommendation to the PM. Co-Chair of NCP, Pushpa Kamal Dahal refused to comment saying “he is not involved in the decision-making process”.
Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister K P Oli, Bishnu Rimal suggested ascertaining the status of Uprety with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreign Ministry officials were non-committal saying the PMO has not made
any official communication regarding Uprety’s nomination. When the recommendation does not move for such a long time, one should understand that there must be some flaws in decision, an aide to PM Oli said.
“I am not aware what is happening to my recommendation,” said Uprety. “I am not told by the government even about my recommendation. I came to know about it from the media. I do not know whether the recommendation is forwarded to the parliamentary hearing committee or not.”
After authentication of the decision by the Chief Secretary, it has to be forwarded to MoFA that in turn writes to the Parliament Secretariat calling for a public hearing. We have not received any communication regarding the recommendation of Uprety and Pandey, said MoFA officials.
Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali did not respond to Post’s repeated calls and messages seeking his comments on the issue.