Delay in enacting regulations hits House functioning

Kathmandu, May 30

It has been five months since the parliamentary elections, but the Parliament has not been able to enact new parliamentary regulations and parliamentary proceedings are being governed by interim parliamentary regulations.

Political parties have reached understanding to form 10 parliamentary panels, including the Parliamentary Hearing Committee, in the House of Representatives and four  panels in the National Assembly, but due to non-enactment of parliamentary regulations, the Parliament has not been able to form these panels, affecting the work of the legislature.

Lawmakers who want to pose questions to line ministries on issues of national importance and their electoral constituencies have not been able to do so, said Assistant Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Keshav Aryal. He added that the appointment of constitutional post holders remained stalled due to non-formation of the parliamentary panels.

The appointment of chief justice also remains stalled due to non-formation of PHC.

The main reason for the delay is the rift between the parties on whether a lawmaker accused of a crime carrying a jail sentence of three years or more should be suspended or whether a lawmaker should be suspended only after the court convicts him/her.

The Nepali Congress, the  Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal and the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal want an accused lawmaker to be suspended only after the court convicts him/her, while the NCP wants a lawmaker accused of a crime to be suspended.

Parliamentary Regulations Drafting Committee Chair Krishna Bhakta Pokharel said his committee had already handed the draft to the House of Representatives. “The Parliament should enact the

parliamentary regulations as soon as possible,” he added.

He said a few lawmakers had registered a proposal in the Parliament to amend the draft seeking suspension of an accused lawmaker.

A Nepali Congress leader said although they wanted their provision to be accepted in the draft, it was up to the ruling NCP as they commanded majority in the House.

Nepal Workers and Peasants Party lawmaker Prem Suwal blamed both the NC and the NCP for delay in the enactment of parliamentary regulations.