Prime minister cannot oust ministers, say legal eagles

  • left alliance in consultation
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Oct 11, 2017-At a time when leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress and its allies have been pressing Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to sever ties with coalition partner CPN (Maoist Centre), the newly formed left alliance involving the CPN-UML and the Maoists has consulted legal eagles on the PM’s power to sack ministers.

Legal experts close to the two communist parties including Ram Narayan Bidari, Agni Kharel, Yubaraj Sangroula, Raman Shrestha and Gobinda Bandi unanimously told top UML and Maoist Centre leaders that the PM has no authority to oust ministers without the consent of the respective Parliamentary Party leaders.

The two parties had sought legal advice on three major issues--when Parliament actually ceases to exist, if the PM can oust ministers, and whether the Speaker retains post after the dissolution of Parliament.

According to Maoist Centre leader Ram Narayan Bidari, the legal experts were of 

the opinion that the tenure of the Legislature-Parliament ends on October 14 as the 

parties submit the list of candidates for proportional representation election system on October 15. However, this is applicable as long as the election schedule remains unchanged.

They cited Article 298 (9) of the constitution that the prime minister cannot oust any of his ministers without recommendation from the concerned party. 

The office of the deputy prime minister, minister, minister of state and assistance minister appointed in accordance with this Article becomes vacant in any of the following circumstances: “(a) if he or she tenders resignation in writing to the prime minister, (b) if the prime minister is removed from office in accordance with clause (8), and (c) if he or she is removed from office by the prime minister on the recommendation or advice of the concerned party.”

The law practitioners said the Speaker loses her position after the dissolution of Parliament. 

Former attorney general Raman Shrestha, however, said when the prime minister becomes a caretaker after the dissolution of the House, the Speaker and deputy Speaker also remain in their positions until their successors are elected.

UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, Vice-Chairman Bamdev Gautam were present in the consultation alongside Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, among others.

After the UML, Maoist Centre and the Naya Shakti Party, Nepal announced their alliance last week, PM Deuba had also sought legal advice from experts.

The leaders of the three parties also discussed on Tuesday a common position on the bill on National Assembly election. The leaders expressed their serious concern over a possible political and constitutional vacuum if the elections were not held on schedule.

Published: 11-10-2017 07:40

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