The open letter from civil society notes that the Speaker has sought to evade the Constitution and relevant laws in order to exercise executive powers since the day of his appointment, even though Nepal’s parliamentary system does not grant such powers to the Speaker.
“The main political parties must immediately take action on Agni Sapkota in order to protect the values and principles of the parliamentary system,” the statement reads.
Agni Sapkota was appointed Speaker in January 2020 even though he has been accused of summary execution during the conflict, with cases against him pending in Nepal’s Supreme Court.
Sapkota was a central committee member and leader of the underground Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) in Sindhupalchok during the armed insurgency and said to be involved in the April 2005 abduction and subsequent killing of civic leader Arjun Bahadur Lama from Kavre district. Arjun Lama’s wife Purnimaya Lama is one of the signatories of the appeal.
The district police had initially refused to register an FIR on the case, until a 2018 directive from the Supreme Court to the Kavre police to investigate the case and submit monthly reports.
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The open letter says the fact that Sapkota has continuously occupied high political positions makes it clear that the police have been intimidated while conducting investigation.
“Influencing the police administration by virtue of his position of power … and by remaining an absconder on the murder case of Arjun Lama, Agni Sapkota is responsible for obstructing justice in the particular case and contributing to the general weakening of the law and justice system in the country,” the statement reads.
The signatories of the appeal include Purnimaya Lama, Badri Prasad Bhusal, Bhagiram Chowdhary, Indra Prasad Aryal, Kanak Mani Dixit, Kedar Narshing KC, Maina Karki, Manamunishwar Acharya, Rajan Kuikel, Sabitri Shrestha, Suman Adhikari, Surya Bahadur Adhikari, Sushil Pyakurel, and Yagya Raj Thapa.
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