Fresh NA appointments ‘unconstitutional’: Congress

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 21, 2018-

The Nepali Congress (NC) on Tuesday expressed ‘strong dissatisfaction’ over government and President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s move to appoint three members to the National Assembly (NA), snubbing the names recommended by the previous government.

The Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday morning recommended Yubaraj Khatiwada, Ram Narayan Bidari and Bimala Poudel as NA members, which got the presidential approval within a couple of hours. 

The NC said the move by both government and president was against the provisions of the constitution. 

Reacting to the government decision, the NC said President Bhandari should have endorsed the names recommended by the previous government in line with Article 66(2) of the constitution. 

At a press conference held at the party headquarters in the Capital on Tuesday, NC Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma criticised the action of both the government and President “for not respecting the constitutional provisions”.  

The Article states that ‘the President shall perform all the works with the consent and recommendation of the Council of Ministers 

except those functions specifically provided to be performed on the recommendation of any body or official under the constitutional or federal law’. 

The NC argues that the President cannot reject the recommendation made by the government. 

Just before the formation of new government, the government under NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba had recommended the names of Krishna Prasad Poudel, Chadani Joshi and Gopal Basnet as members of the NA.  In 59-member NA, 56 members are elected from electoral colleges, while three are nominated by the President on the basis of the recommendation made by the Cabinet.

The constitutional provision, however, is unclear as to which government—new or previous-is mandated to make such appointments. Article 86(b) of the constitution states that ‘three members consisting of at least one women nominated by the President on the recommendation of Government of Nepal’. 

The NC is of the view that the Deuba-led government, which successfully completed the election process, has the right to make such appointments. “As the Deuba-led government conducted three levels of elections, the names of three members were recommended with a view to give a complete shape to the federal parliament,” said Sharma. The left alliance of UML and Maoist Centre, however, holds the view that the new government is mandated to do so. The recommendation made by the Deuba-led government was put on hold by President Bhandari. 

NC Spokesperson Sharma said initial decisions of the new government will define the pattern of relations between the government and the opposition party in days to come.  

The NC also expressed dissatisfaction at the UML’s statement that “the President snubbed the decisions of the previous government”. 

Published: 21-02-2018 07:43

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