Impasse on lawmaker suspension continues

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

May 17, 2018-

The stalemate on amending parliamentary rules of procedures continues as Nepali Congress (NC) on Wednesday reiterated its objection to the proposal of immediate suspension of lawmakers facing criminal charges.

The NC had threatened to obstruct parliamentary proceedings if the rule is pushed for ratification through vote. Besides the NC, a few other parties, including Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N), too oppose this rule.

The Regulations Drafting Committee of the House of Representatives had initially planned immediate suspension of MPs facing a criminal case or taken into custody. The committee later revised the proposal to lawmakers accused of crime that could sentence them jail term of three years or more, or in judicial custody would not be suspended immediately.

Three UML lawmakers later tabled an amendment against the draft.

Though Maoist Centre initially opposed suspending such lawmakers, the party later changed its stance following talks with the UML.

 RJP-N member Laxman Lal Karna told the Post there is no need to suspend lawmakers facing criminal charges since they are automatically barred from functioning as lawmaker and denied monthly allowances and other benefits. “An MP should not be suspended until and unless he/she is found guilty,” Karna said. He stressed his party would not support the plan of passing the provision through majority vote.

The UML and Maoist Centre have 129 and 53 lawmakers respectively in the Lower House. It will not be difficult for them to endorse the ruling with 138 votes needed to ratify the provision.

The Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Sher Bahadur Tamang presented the Public Security (third amendment) Bill, 2018 in the Lower house on behalf of Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa on Wednesday.

The House next meets on May 18.

Published: 17-05-2018 07:17

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