After move to impeach CJ, Nepal Army says ‘maintaining vigil’

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The Nepal Army will maintain vigil due to the “unfolding events” in the country, it said in an unusual move hours after an impeachment motion was registered in the parliament against the first woman chief justice.

Nepal ArmyThe decision to step up security vigil was taken at a high-level meeting last night, hours after the impeachment motion was registered against Sushila Karki by two major ruling parties. The motion accused her of “interfering” with the executive and issuing “prejudiced” verdicts.

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Top officials have decided to maintain vigil in view of the challenges to security from “unfolding events”, the army’s media wing said in a statement, without explaining what it meant by unfolding events.

It said the officials also reviewed overall security situation in Nepal.

Karki, 64, has been automatically suspended from the position after the motion was registered.

A total of 249 lawmakers from the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist-Centre) have signed the motion. As a fallout, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi too resigned. A close aide of Nidhi told reporters he has serious reservations over the motion.

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Nidhi leads the Nepali Congress, the largest constituent of the ruling coalition mustered by Prime Minister Prachanda. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Development Kamal Thapa has expressed his displeasure against the motion.

Thapa, also the chairman of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, in a tweet said the motion was not just unfortunate but objectionable.

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Nepal, which has been witnessing political instability for some time now, is scheduled to hold local-level polls on May 14. Some Madhes-centric parties have opposed the elections until the Constitution is amended to accommodate their views: more representation in parliament and redrawing of provincial boundaries.

The army, which is to be deployed for the smooth conduct of the polls, said it has reviewed the situation and the efforts by political parties in forging a consensus, said the statement.

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