NC MPs insist speaker, deputy speaker can’t be from same party

"It is unfair not to allow the issue to be discussed in the Parliament"

Kathmandu, August 2

Lawmakers representing the main opposition Nepali Congress have said they will continue to raise the issue of speakers and deputy speakers being from the same party, despite House of Representatives Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara’s ruling that sub judice issue cannot be discussed in the House.

They said the question was not about whether the NC would get one of the two posts, but about the implementation of the constitution.

Presently, both speaker and deputy speaker in both upper and lower houses of the federal parliament and provincial assemblies are from the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). The NC has demanded that one among the speakers and deputy speakers should resign in accordance with the provisions in Article 91 (2), Article 92 (2), and Article 182 (2) of the constitution whereby speakers and deputy speakers of the federal parliament as well as provincial assemblies should be from different parties.

Although both the House of Representatives speaker and deputy speaker were from different parties (CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre) when the election for the posts were held, they now belong to the same ruling party after the two parties merged.

The ruling NCP (NCP) has said the speaker and deputy speaker have already resigned from the party, but the NC has countered the argument stating a lawmaker automatically loses his/her post after resigning from the party.

NC Chief Whip Bal Krishna Khand questioned how a government could ask others to abide by the constitution when it had been flouting its provisions.

“Presently, we are raising this issue. But gradually the general public will start raising the issue,” he said, adding, “ It is not a minor issue since it is related to implementation of the constitution.”

NC lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu said they would honour the court’s verdict, but added it was unfair not to allow the issue to be discussed in House as it had been raised before the case was filed in the court.

The NC lawmakers also refuted comments that the NC was raising petty issues and disrupting House proceedings as they did not have any tangible issues to take up.

They said they had been continuously been raising issues concerning the general public such as price rise, security, constitution implementation, designation of places of protest, among others.

“The only thing is we have been raising these issues with decency. If the government continues to mistake our decency as weakness, we will get stern in the days to come,” said Badu.

Khand added the issues they had been raising had huge public support which was evident by the fact that the nationwide demonstrations the party staged on July 31 were joined by more than 500,000 people.

“The fact of the matter is the government is getting defensive due to the issues the NC has been raising. We warn the government to correct itself.”