Thursday, August 17, 2006

Much-awaited Military Act presented at House

The government Thursday tabled a bill at the House of Representatives (HoR) to amend the Army Act-2016, which will formally sever the traditional link between the Nepali Army and the King and bring the army under the total control of democratic government.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Narendra Bikram Nemwang presented the amendment bill the parliament on behalf of the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala who is also the defence minister.

The bill to amend the Army Act makes no mention of the King and has removed the provision of supreme commandership of the army held by the King. As per the new Act the Nepali Army will be fully under the democratic government and will be mobilised by the Security Council chaired by the Prime Minister. The Act also allows the government to sack the army chief.

The amendment bill has changed the present set-up of the Security Council, which will have the defence minister, home minister, finance minister and foreign minister as its members. Earlier, the three-member Council comprising of the Prime Minister, Defence Minister and the army chief would recommend to the King for the mobilization of the army.

The bill also proposes that recruitments in the army be done by the Public Service Commission.

The amendment bill which aims to democratise the Nepali Army that has traditionally been loyal to the King comes as per the historic declaration of the HoR

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