Nepal | May 25, 2020

Fate of three dozen bills uncertain

Ram Kumar Kamat
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Nepal Parliament building

The building of Nepal’s Legislature-Parliament.

Kathmandu, September 9

The fate of almost three dozen bills being considered by the Parliament is uncertain as the term of the Parliament will end a day before the candidates file their nomination for parliamentary polls.

Article 296 (1) of the constitution stipulates that the term of the Parliament will last till January 21, but if an election is held to the House of Representatives as set forth in the constitution prior to the expiry of that term, the Parliament shall continue to exist till one day before the day specified for filing of nominations of candidates for parliamentary election.

Yesterday, the EC wanted to bring out its calendar of events for provincial and parliamentary elections slated for November 26 and December 7 respectively, but postponed its plan as Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba proposed that the polls fix the date for filing nomination for the first-past-the-post electoral system before filing nomination for proportional representation system.

An EC source said the polls panel had prepared a tentative plan, according to which, it wanted the parties to file their nomination under the PR system before Dashain festival.

The source also said the tentative date for filing nomination under the FPTP system was October 22 for first phase of provincial and parliamentary elections and November 2 for second phase of these elections.

Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Bharat Raj Gautam said there were almost three dozen bills under consideration in the Parliament and if they were not passed, then they could not be automatically transferred to the new Parliament after election.

“As per the rule, any bill that is registered in one session of the Parliament can be passed in subsequent sessions of the Parliament, but when the term of one Parliament ends,  the validity of  the bills under consideration also ends,” he said, adding that the government would have to draft these bills afresh if the incumbent Parliament could not pass them.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Radhe Shyam Adhikari said in case the government failed to pass any bill,  it could bring ordinances. “But I think the government will have to pass  at least a few bills through the fast-track process,” he said, adding that bills relating to election of the president and vice president,  formation of the Upper House of the Parliament and local levels would have to be fast-tracked.

CPN-Maoist Centre lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari said filing of nominations for provincial and parliamentary elections could start around October 27. By then, most of the important bills could be passed by Parliament. “If any bill is not passed by the House, the government will bring new bills in the new Parliament,” he added.

Election Commissioner Ila Sharma said the polls panel wanted to fix early dates for filing nominations under the first-past-the-post and proportional representation electoral systems. “Early nomination will make our job easier. We need to do a lot of work in a short time,” she added.

As per constitutional provisions, all elections should be held by January 21.

The Supreme Court had recently issued order to the government telling it to hold all the elections, including election of president, vice-president and the National Assembly by January 21.

Among the three dozen bills that are under the consideration of the Parliament are bills relating to Women Commission, Civil Service Pension Bill, adjustment of employees in federal units, pay and perks of former VIPs and also the education bill.

A version of this article appears in print on September 10, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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