NCP holding two positions in House ‘unconstitutional’

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 15, 2018-

Nepali Congress has demanded either the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the Lower House should resign and make way for a candidate who is not a member of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

Quoting the constitution, Nepali Congress says one party cannot have monopoly over both positions. One of them should immediately quit, it demands.

Keen to hold on to both positions, the ruling party argues, “It is illogical to say the Speaker and Deputy Speaker come from the same party. Both have resigned from their respective parties.”

NC Chief Whip Bal Krishna Khand on Wednesday told the House the government should adhere to the constitution, which stipulates the Speaker and Deputy Speaker should represent different parties. Opposition members have repeatedly raised the pitch on this contentious issue in the House.

On Thursday, former Minister for Information and Communications and NC leader Minendra Rijal accused ruling parties of misinterpreting the relevant article of the constitution.

Article 91 (2) of the Constitution says, “Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be representatives from different parties.”

The Speaker and Deputy Speaker now represent the same party, NCP, after the merger of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre), Congress leaders argue.

Earlier, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara was from Maoist and Deputy Speaker Shivamaya Tumbahangphe was from the UML. After the merging of the two parties, they now represent NCP.

“Mahara and Tumbahangphe are from same party so one of them has to resign as per the constitution,” Khand told the House.

Constitution expert Bipin Adhikari says one of the two must resign. The ruling party should not dilly dally on this issue under any pretext.

History shows members with experience in the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker later worked as party leaders, he says. “So, it is illogical to say they do not belong to any party.”

Published: 15-06-2018 07:16

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