Kathmandu, Feb 11: Khil Raj Regmi, chairman of Nepal’s interim election government, Tuesday handed over the reins of governance to new Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and also tendered his resignation from the post of Supreme Court chief justice.
Prior to holding elections for the Constituent Assembly, political parties in this Himalayan nation had, in May 2013, installed the Regmi-led government.
After the successful holding of elections and formation of a new government under Koirala’s leadership, Regmi tendered his resignation as chief justice.
He has at least two more months to serve as chief justice at the Supreme Court but he refused to join after the Nepal Bar Association, an umbrella organisation of Nepali lawyers, did not allow him into the apex court.
The association was against the chief justice-led government ever since Regmi took over as chairman of the interim election-government.
In an address to the nation, Regmi said he has already submitted his resignation letter to President Ram Baran Yadav.
Regmi said he has already made up his mind not to return to the judiciary after the new government took over.
“Law cannot stop me from returning to judiciary… I listened to my inner soul and resigned,” Regmi said.
Regmi is said to have changed his mind after consulting others who advised him against returning to the judiciary. The Nepal Bar Association had, in fact, planned a meeting to chart out strategies in case Regmi returned to the apex court.
In his speech, Regmi said he and his cabinet members were satisfied and felt proud to hand over the responsibility of governance to the newly-elected government.
“It is the responsibility and a challenge for the political parties to promulgate a new constitution within a year… my soul will be at peace if the constitution is drafted,” he added.
Regmi said though the main objective of his government was to hold the Constituent Assembly elections, the government made efforts to maintain good governance and protect human rights, among others.
(Anil Giri can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)