Ruling, opposition parties pick their own candidates for PAC chair

Kathmandu January 29

The ruling parties and the main opposition have picked their own candidates for the chair of Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament.

The main opposition CPN-UML nominated lawmaker Pashupati  Chaulagain for the post. His nomination was proposed by UML leader Satrughan Mahato and supported by Radha Krishna Kandel of the same party.

Likewise, the ruling side nominated Dor Prasad Upadhyaya for the post. His nomination was proposed by Nepali Congress lawmaker Ram Hari Khatiwada and supported by CPN-Maoist Centre Chief Whip Tek Bahadur Basnet.

This process of nominating PAC chair deviates from the established practice of giving PAC leadership to the main opposition.  The first Parliament formed after restoration of democracy in 1990 set the tradition of awarding the post to the opposition. Since then, PAC is being led by the opposition’s lawmaker.

Currently, PAC is without leadership after the CPN-MC went to the power and it’s chair Janardan Sharma became the energy minister. “Differences led the the ruling and opposition parties to nominate separate candidates for the post,” a Parliament official told this daily on condition of anonymity.

Currently, the NC and the UML lead four House committees each, while the CPN-MC leads two committees. “As the CPN-MC lawmaker had quit the position of PAC chair, the party should be given another post in lieu,” NC lawmaker Ramhari Khatiwada said. He also said that the ruling party could withdraw nomination of its candidate, if UML agreed to leave the post of any other panel led by it. “If there is no agreement by tomorrow, PAC chair will be picked through voting,” he added.

UML Chief Whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal said his party was surprised by the nomination of PAC chair by the ruling party as it was against parliamentary tradition.