News digest: Governance (August 19 – 25, 2021)

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As many as six petitioners filed writ petitions to cancel the ordinance to amend the Political Parties Act 2017. The Sher Bahadur Deuba government had recommended President Bidya Devi Bhandari to introduce the ordinance on August 18, however, the petitioners argued that the government intentionally prorogued the house in order to bypass it and issue the ordinance in order to facilitate splits in the UML and Janata Samajbadi Party.

Janata Samajwadi Party leader Mahanta Thakur talks to media persons after the registration of his own party at the Election Commission. Photo: RSS

The Auditor General published a report titled ‘Special Audit Report on Covid-19 Management’ outlining the government’s shortcomings in the covid-19 pandemic preparation and response last year, mentioning that the prices of medical goods procured by the government agencies were substantially different, the government’s preparation for the pandemic was delayed, and that there were shortcomings in the management of the quarantine and isolation centres, management of people entering the country and anomalies in the procurement of medical goods.

Sher Bahadur Deuba has not been able to expand his cabinet after more than 40 days as prime minister due to the lack of dedicated ministers. As of now, there are four ministers and one state minister, whereas Deuba is leading 17 ministries by himself.

The Supreme Court, on August 24, refused to issue an interim order on a petition challenging Kulman Ghising’s appointment as the new managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority by Hitendra Dev Shakya, the managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority, who had filed the petition on August 16.

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