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Nepalese parliament today began deliberations on an impeachment motion against the chief of the country’s anti-corruption commission, who has been suspended amid accusations by lawmakers that he abused his position.
Lokman Singh Karki headed the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) since 2013. But his installation remained controversial from the beginning as he had himself been the subject of graft inquiries, although he was never convicted.
Lawmaker Mohan Bahadur Shahi of CPN Maoist Centre presented the impeachment motion in the House, while CPN-UML chief whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal seconded it.
The lawmakers accused Karki of exploiting the anti-graft body as an instrument to meet his personal ambitions.
Shahi accused Karki of exploiting the CIAA as “an instrument” to meet his personal and his family’s ambitions.
“By ignoring the process, constitutional role and responsibilities since Karki institutionalised corruption, terrorised the state mechanism, blackmailed (others) and presented himself in an anarchic and unconstrained manner,” Shahi alleged.
Shahi labeled nine charges against Karki such as acting like an executive instead of an ombudsman by abusing authority, spying on leaders who are not on state positions and the chiefs of security organs by call tapping obstructing the judicial process and disrespecting the judiciary.
The motion states that Karki “seriously violated the constitution and laws and has not sincerely performed the duties of his position.”
According to the motion, Karki used his role in the CIAA to put pressure on the national medical council to help a private medical college owned by his relatives, reports said.
As many as 11 lawmakers took part in the deliberations today.
Meanwhile, the largest party in the Parliament, Nepali Congress remained undecided regarding voting on the impeachment motion.
The party’s Central Committee meeting today decided to take an appropriate decision on the impeachment motion against Karki only during the voting in the Parliament, said senior party leader Ram Chandra Paudel.
During the party’s highest body meeting, the CWC members were divided over whether to support the impeachment motion brought in by Prime Minister Prachanda’s party CPN Maoist Centre and the main opposition CPN-UML, without consulting the Nepali Congress.
Corruption is rife in Nepal. Watchdog Transparency International’s global corruption perception index ranked Nepal 130th out of 168 countries.