Nepal’s Top Leaders Out of Work

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The future of politics in Nepal will be changed forever as at least 20 senior politicians lost their election bids last week. Some old hands survived: Parlimentary Speaker Nembang and politburo member Khanal for the UML; former PM Deuba, reconstruction minister and former speaker Poudel, and Finance Minister Mahat for the NC. They were fortunate.

Here are a baker’s dozen of other notables who will not be in a new government and will not help write Nepal’s new constitution.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala did not contest the election and has announced his retirement. His nephew Shekhar Koirala lost the PM’s seat to Bijaya Kumar Gacchedar of the MJF. The 84-year-old has been prime minister four times; he is widely believed to be corrupt but is also widely admired for having kept the fragile peace agreement and power-sharing government together for the last two years.

Sushil Koirala, the prime minister’s cousin and member of parliament from Banke District since 1999. Has resigned as Nepali Congress vice-president following his defeat.

Sujata Koirala, the prime minister’s daughter and heir-apparent. Minister without Portfolio. Koirala created controversy during the election campaign by appearing to support the monarchy and the 1990 constitution.

Khum Bahadur Khadka, Congress MP and former home minister. Reputed to be a bully and accused of taking large bribes. His security detail is believed to be responsible for the deaths of seven Maoists two days before the election.

Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Congress MP and home minister. Widely thought closest to the Maoists of major NC politicians and was repeatedly criticized for the poor security situation in the run-up to the election, especially in the Terai.

Govinda Raj Joshi, Congress MP and former home minister. Accused of amassing income by corruption but cleared by the Special Court because of errors in the case filing.

Madhav Kumar Nepal, UML MP and general secretary for the last 15 years: resigned April 11. Lost in both districts he contested. The party’s opportunism and unlikely political alliances have earned Nepal a reputation of being wishy-washy.

KP Oli, UML MP and standing committee member, former deputy prime minister and foreign minister. Closest to the palace within the UML; widely believed to be the brains of the party.

Bharat Mohan Adhikary, UML MP and standing committee member, former deputy prime minister and finance minister. Younger brother of Man Mohan Adhikary, a founder of the Communist Party of Nepal.

Bam Dev Gautam, UML standing committee member and former deputy prime minister. Led a splinter group out of the UML in 1998 and formed the CPN-ML with C.P. Mainali. Reunited with the UML in 2002.

Pashupati SJB Rana, MP and chairman of the pro-monarchy RPP; father of Devyani Rana, the girlfriend of Prince Dipendra, who killed most of the royal family and himself in June 2001.

Kamal Thapa, former RPP leader and now chairman of the RPP-N: royalist and former communications minister; home minister during King Gyanendra’s direct rule; widely blamed for security forces’ violence against demonstrators in April 2006.

Surya Bahadur Thapa, former RPP leader and now RJP chairman; royalist and five-time prime minister under three kings, including a stint after King Gyanendra dismissed parliament.

John Child is The NewsBlaze Nepal Correspondent, a journalist in Kathmandu who writes about goings-on in and around Nepal and her neighbors.

John Child is The NewsBlaze Nepal Correspondent, a journalist in Kathmandu who writes about goings-on in and around Nepal and her neighbors.