NC warns of strong measures

The ruling party must give up the post of either speaker or deputy speaker as per article 91 (2) and article 182 (2) of the constitution

Kathmandu, July 28

The main opposition Nepali Congress has threatened to adopt fierce measures to force the government to give up one of the two posts — speaker or deputy speaker — both at the centre and provinces.

NC Chief Whip in the House of Representatives Bal Krishna Khand said his party would resort to strongest forms of protest to force the ruling party to give up one of the two posts.

Khand said his party was committed to upholding the rule of law and would take the issue to the public on Tuesday when it organised a nationwide protest against government ‘misrule’ and ‘authoritarianism.’

He said the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) was wrongly interpreting the constitutional provision on having speaker and deputy speaker of different genders and parties. “There is no ambiguity in the constitutional provision because the constitutional provision related to the National Assembly states that speaker and deputy speaker should be from two different parties,” Khand added.

Article 91 (2) of the constitution states that election  shall be held in such a way that there is one woman from among the speaker and deputy speaker; and the speaker and deputy speaker of the House of Representatives are representatives of different parties.

Article 182 (2) of the constitution contains similar provision for provincial assemblies.

Asked if the NC would stall House proceedings over this issue, Khand said, “The government has introduced a new medical education bill in the House. We want to raise some burning issues that concern the public. We also want people’s easy access to education and health services and for all these reasons, we do not want to stall House proceedings. Nevertheless, we will continue to raise the issue,” Khand added.

He said the government needed to pass many bills to implement the constitution. Khand said the ruling parties needed to be considerate while resolving the issue, but the ruling party’s lawmakers were stalling House proceedings over the matter.

Khand said the NCP’s argument that Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe had resigned from the party and were working as independent members  did not hold water because if they had resigned from their party NCP (NCP), they could not continue as lawmakers as per the Political Party Registration Act.

“NCP (NCP) leaders are saying that speaker and deputy speaker had resigned from their party but they have not read the provisions of the Political Party Registration Act, 2017. As per this law, if a lawmaker resigns from the party, s/he ceases to be a lawmaker,” Khand argued.

Deputy Parliamentary Party leader of the NCP (NCP), Subas Chandra Nembang, however, said that the issue was now subjudice in the Supreme Court, and the main opposition should wait for the apex court’s verdict before raising the issue. “We have told the NC that we will abide by the court’s verdict on the matter,” he added.