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Nepal moves impeachment motion against suspended anti-graft chief

Nepal moves impeachment motion against suspended anti-graft chief
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An impeachment motion was on Sunday tabled in the Nepalese parliament against the chief of the country’s anti-corruption commission, four days after he was suspended amid accusations by lawmakers that he abused his position.

The discussion on the motion against Lokman Singh Karki was expected to begin on Tuesday.

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.

In a meeting of House, Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar said the discussion on the motion would commence on Tuesday. After the deliberations in the House, the impeachment motion would be sent to the Impeachment Recommendation Committee (IRC).

As per the constitutional provision, the House would then put the motion to vote if IRC recommended further proceedings.

The impeachment motion against Karki was registered by 157 lawmakers from the main opposition CPN-UML and the ruling CPN (Maoist Centre) of Prime Minister Prachanda on Wednesday.

A parliamentary party meeting of CPN (Maoist Centre) on Sunday made the decision to this effect and its leader Agni Sapkota said party chairman Prachanda urged for a logical conclusion of the issue.

Nepali Congress, the largest party in the parliament, is yet to come up with its official position on the motion. The party would give its decision regarding the motion on Monday, according to the party sources.

Meanwhile, the acting chief CIAA Deep Basnyat said the constitutional body would not deviate from its duty. He said the commission would accept parliament’s decision over the impeachment motion registered against Karki.

“The acting chief said there would not be any deviation in the effectiveness of its performance regarding the constitutional responsibilities due to a specific incident,” CIAA spokesperson Ganesh Raj Karki said in a statement.

The motion states that Karki “seriously violated the constitution and laws and has not sincerely performed the duties of his position”, reports said.

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, they said.

The commission has denied the allegations.

Corruption is rife in Nepal. Watchdog Transparency International’s global corruption perception index ranked Nepal 130th out of 168 countries. 
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