Congress urges govt to withdraw controversial ordinance
KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 18
The main opposition Nepali Congress has demanded that the government withdraw the controversial ordinance amending the Constitutional Council Act immediately.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday had issued the ordinance related to the Constitutional Council Act (Functions, Duties, Powers and Procedures).
The ordinance amended some clauses of the CCA, which allowed the government to take decisions on the appointment of chairpersons and members of constitutional bodies, with the presence of the majority members of the Constitutional Council.
Until now, quorum for the CC could be achieved only when the chairperson and four other members were present in the meeting. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, had on the same day issued the ordinance. The government has been receiving widespread criticism since the issuance of the ordinance, including vocal protest from majority of leaders of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). A meeting of the working committee of the NC today also urged the government to summon the House session as soon as possible. The main opposition has been saying that the amendment proposal to the act should have been tabled at the Parliament by following the due process. But, the Parliament has been prorogued for the last five months.
The NC indicated the ordinance as a signal of the government’s attempt to follow the path of totalitarianism and said it was against the spirit of the constitution.
The NC, issuing a press release, said, “The ordinance brought by the government is against the spirit of the constitution, and hence we demand the government withdraw the ordinance pronto.”
The NC’s chief whip Balkrishna Khand said, “The ordinance issuance by the government is an act of disrupting the power balance among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
The government cannot do so at any cost and should withdraw the ordinance immediately.”
He further said, “The Parliament is the place where the government can really hear the people’s voice and it is also the only place where laws should be formulated. But, this government has held it hostage it for several months. We call to end it and demand that the Parliament session be summoned at the earliest. The government, upon direction of a meeting of the Standing Committee of NCP (NCP), had told that the ordinance would be withdrawn.
But, an official decision on the matter was yet to come.
The working committee of the NC today also reached a conclusion that the government had utterly failed in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Khand alleged the government was not serious about the present situation. The NC also criticised the government for the latter’s involvement in several graft cases and apathy to take action against the perpetrators.
Similarly, the NC, expressing solidarity with the sugarcane farmers’ protest, urged the government to fulfil the farmers’ demands.