A social and political boycott of ‘opponents’ has been a routine practice in the `republic’ of Nepal. Over the years, the pro-republic elements who enjoy larger international support, denied space to traditional forces including those supporting the monarchy.
But with deep fissures visible among the pro-republic forces, deep distrust, suspicion and a boycott mar relations between them. The boycott syndrome has not only affected the inter-personal relations of those representing various political camps, but has come to affect the ‘courtesy’ that constitutional practices and conventions demand.
On Monday, Chief Justice Sushila Karki chose not to attend a function—many think she feigned illness–in which she was supposed to have administered the oath of office to the newly appointed Auditor General and to the chief of the anti-graft constitutional body –in the presence of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari. CJ Karki, currently facing impeachment proceedings in Parliament, is believed to have told President Bhandari that she was not feeling well and therefore would not be able to administer the oath scheduled in the President’s office.
Bhandari quickly made an alternative arrangement asking the acting CJ Gopal Prasad Parajuli to administer the oath of office to the duo, a request that Justice Parajuli complied with. Karki was in office Tuesday. What was CJ Karki upto?
On May 9, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal as well as Speaker Onsari Gharti, both from the Maoist Party, had boycotted the national law day function hosted by C J Karki. Karki possibly wanted to give a message that she was not too happy with the appointment of Deep Basnyat as head of the anti-graft body and Tankamani Sharma as the Auditor General, and if reports in the media that have openly sided with her in the ‘impeachment episode’ is to be believed, she personally ‘feels that the duo’s probity is doubtful. In the ongoing tussle over CJ Karki’s impeachment, the ruling Nepali Congress and the Maoist Party are the sponsors of the move whereas the main opposition Communist Party of Nepal–Unified Marxist Leninist is are opposed to it. UML Chief K P Oli, and large network of human right groups with patronage from NGOs have been asking the NC and the Maoists to withdraw the move.