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Regmi refuses to step down as Nepal's chief justice

Published: 25th July 2013 01:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2013 01:46 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

Despite pressure from opposition parties, Khil Raj Regmi, the head of Nepal's interim government, has refused to resign as the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Regmi is holding the two posts since March 13. Some opposition parties want him to resign as the chief justice to ensure a conducive environment for Nov 19 parliamentary polls, Xinhua reported.

A case has been filed in the Supreme Court demanding Regmi's resignation as chief justice.

In a written reply in the Supreme Court Thursday, Regmi argued that there was a new provision in the constitution stating that the government would be headed by a sitting chief justice.

"If I resign from the post of chief justice, I will no longer remain the cabinet chairman, which in turn could lead to new constitutional complexities," the reply stated.

Opposition parties Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Nepal (MJF-N), Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (a splinter group of Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist) and the Federal Socialist Party-Nepal (FSP-N) are demanding Regmi's resignation as chief justice, saying that holding both posts by an individual will affect the principle of separation of powers.

Regmi in his reply also cited precedents in Greece, Canada and Ghana, arguing that sitting chief justices have assumed executive roles.

The apex court had last month asked Regmi to explain why he was holding the dual positions.

The bench was responding to a petition filed by one Bharat Jungum demanding Regmi's resignation as the chief justice. Jungum had moved the court on May 27, arguing that Regmi holding the two positions was against the principle of separation of powers.

Opposition parties say they will not take part in the election process if Regmi refuses to resign as chief justice.

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