PM’s resignation not legal: Experts

Kathmandu, June 27:

Though prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala announced his resignation yesterday from the post of the chief executive, legal experts said today Koirala has to tender his formal resignation to the new president as stated in the interim constitution.

“This is a political and moral resignation by the prime minister,” senior advocate Bishwa Kant Mainali told this daily. “Legally, he is still bound to perform his duty.”

Mainali, also the president of the Nepal Bar Association, said that constitutionally the prime minister has to submit his formal resignation before the president as per the fourth amendment of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007.

According to the Article 38 (7) of the Interim Constitution, the prime minister can quit from the post only by submitting resignation to the president.

“Unless he tenders resignation to the president, it cannot be the formal resignation,” Mainali said.

According to Mainali, PM Koirala can continue his office as the head of the caretaker government but cannot take any major decision.

CA member and advocate Agni Prasad Kharel also has similar opinion. He said PM Koirala cannot backtrack from his commitment as announced in the legislative session of the Constituent Assembly. “Since his resignation is not a formal one he can continue his office.”

“Though the PM’s announcement has political meaning, without the constitutional process he cannot leave his duty because such announcement has no constitutional capacity,” Kharel said.

Kharel claimed that an institution or a body cannot accept the resignation. “In the absence of the authority to accept his resignation, the PM cannot vacate his post.”

Former member of the interim parliament and advocate Harihar Dahal also said that despite Koirala’s announcement, he has not formally resigned yet. “Constitutionally this cannot be termed a resignation. The appointment of the president is a must to approve his resignation.”

Dahal added that the PM’s announcement has two sides -- political and constitutional -- and without completing the constitutional process he cannot leave his duty.

“He can continue in office even after he made the resignation announcement in the sovereign CA meeting,” Dahal said.