NC meet okays draft PP statute

Kathmandu, February 24

A meeting of the members of the federal Parliament representing the Nepali Congress today approved the draft parliamentary party statute after holding necessary discussions.

The draft statute, presented by NC leader Minendra Rijal, will be tabled at the Central Working Committee meeting slated for tomorrow morning for final approval.

The revision of the parliamentary party statute is necessary to make it compatible with the new government structure. Earlier, there was only one Constituent Assembly which also played the role of the legislature-parliament, but the federal parliament now consists of two houses — the House of Representatives and National Assembly. Also, the party wants to make its parliamentary party statute compatible with the spirit of the constitution such as proportional inclusion.

The meeting chaired by NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba as the eldest member also discussed the election of parliamentary party leader. Most of the leaders stressed on  unanimous selection of parliamentary party leader rather than going for election to strengthen the party. They suggested going for election, that too only on the basis of healthy competition, only if consensus efforts fail.

NC leader Prakash Man Singh, who has staked claim to the post of parliamentary party leader, told the meeting that the party needed a new leadership, especially after the party’s humiliating defeat in provincial and parliamentary elections at the hands of the left alliance of the CPN-UML and the CPN-MC.

“I had been speaking the same thing in other forums previously. But today I spoke officially in front of Deuba that election results have proven his leadership a failure. Despite getting many opportunities at the helm of the party, Deuba could not perform as expected.

So he should no more eye the post of parliamentary party leader,” said Singh. So far, Deuba, Singh and NC General Secretary Shashank Koirala are in the fray for the post of parliamentary party leader. However, Koirala has said he will file his candidacy only if he is elected unanimously.

The NC plans to hold another CWC meeting ‘very soon’ to identify the defeat and chart a course for the party’s rejuvenation.

Senior NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel said the leadership should be able to make sacrifices in order to revive and strengthen the party.

The meeting also decided to form shadow government with an aim to monitor the activities of ministries and play a role of responsible opposition.

The party will form committees in its parliamentary party to oversee respective line ministries. Coordinators of the committees, which will also have other members, will play the role of shadow ministers. The parliamentary party leader will be the shadow prime minister.

The provision for such committees and shadow government will be included in the parliamentary party statute, according to NC leader Bal Krishna Khand. “The committees, as shadow governments, will closely monitor the activities of ministries on the basis of merit when the party is in opposition, while the same committees will assist ministries when in power.”

The NC also concluded that President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s move to ‘hold’ the Deuba administration’s NA nominee recommendation, and ‘immediately approve’ the incumbent government’s recommendation was unconstitutional’. The meeting also congratulated PM Deuba for successfully holding all three phases of elections as the country’s prime minister.