Clause on no-trust motion sought in interim statute

Kathmandu, January 20:

Lawmakers and legal experts said today that there should be a provision of “no-confidence” motion in the interim constitution to remove the prime minister otherwise the head of the government may become a dictator.

Addressing a programme at the Reporters’ Club, lawmaker and former president of the Nepal Bar Association Radheshyam Adhikari said: “There is no constitutional provision under which the prime minister can be removed by the legislative body through a vote of no-confidence. The interim constitution is a document of political understanding. If political understanding among the parties concerned is broken there should be a provision of removing the PM through a no-confidence motion.”

He said that the PM seemed to be the de facto head of the state as the interim constitution has stripped off all powers of the king till an election to a constituent assembly. “The PM should not be made so powerful that he cannot be removed constitutionally by the legislative body,” he said.

Newly elected president of the Nepal Bar Association Bishwokant Mainali said that the interim constitution could not be judged from constitutional principle, “as it is a document of political understanding among parties who fought for democracy”.

“Some of the clauses of the interim constitution are undemocratic and autocratic. They need to be amended before the nation goes for constituent assembly elections, otherwise NBA would take to the streets,” Mainali said. He said that it was not appropriate to swear in the chief justice of the Supreme Court by the prime minister who is the head of the government.

“I would have suggested that the SC justice should have taken oath of office before the constitutional council,” he said. He, however, conceded the fact that there was room for amendment in the interim constitution as the PM himself had assured of making amendments in it in due course of time.

NBA general secretary Raman Shrestha said, “One of the best aspects of the interim constitution is that it is the first time in Nepal’s history that a constitution has been declared by the people, who can also make amendments, if need be.”