Kathmandu, March 17
Main opposition Nepali Congress today said the Bill on Functions, Powers and Duties of the National Security Council was aimed at making the council a shadow of the prime minister.
The party said the bill’s provisions that allowed the prime minister to mobilise the army through his individual decision was not only unconstitutional but also against the principle of separation of powers and democratic norms. “The constitution has given enough powers to the prime minister to effectively lead the country.
But moves such as bringing various agencies under the PM and trying to authorise him to mobilise army will only establish authoritarian ambitions,” NC Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma said in a statement.
Members of the council include the PM; defence, home, finance and foreign ministers; chief secretary; and army chief. The NC said no situation of national emergency could be imagined that would not allow the council to meet.“Envisioning such a situation in the bill to provision army mobilisation without holding the council’s meeting also means that the army mobilisation decision can be taken without involving the army’s leadership,” read the statement. “This is an extremely sensitive subject from the national security perspective.”
A version of this article appears in print on March 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.