NCP decides Tumbahangphe must quit

She says she won’t resign from post of deputy speaker if party doesn’t support her candidacy for speaker

Kathmandu, January 11

The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) today decided to ask Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe to resign from her post so that the ruling party could field its candidate for the post of speaker.

As per the constitutional provision, the post of speaker and deputy speaker should go to different parties and genders. As Tumbahnagphe belonged to the forormer CPN-UML when she consted election for deputy speaker, the ruling NCP can field its candidate for speaker only after Tumbahangphe resigns from her post.

Tumbahangphe, however, told THT that she would not resign if the party did not support her bid to become the next speaker.

The post of speaker fell vacant on October 1, when incumbent Krishna Bahadur Mahara resigned after a female staffer of the Parliament Secretariat accused him of attempt to rape.

According to NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha, the party decided to urge Tumbahangphe to resign from her post in order to field its candidate for speaker. Shrestha said a meeting of the party’s Secretariat did not discuss who should be the candidate for speaker. “The Secretariat did not discuss the party’s candidate for speaker. If the co-chairs have discussed the issue, only they know about it. They have not briefed other members of the Secretariat about the party’s candidate,” Shrestha said and added that the party would take a call on its candidate soon.

The House of Representatives has scheduled its meeting for tomorrow and if the meeting is not postponed again, then the HoR will publish the schedule for speaker’s election. Earlier, differences between NCP co-chairs — KP Shar ma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal — over who should be the party’s candidate for speaker had led to postponement of the HoR meeting twice.

While Oli favoured party leader Subas Chandra Nembang, Dahal had thrown his weight behind Agni Prasad Sapkota.

Asked what the NCP would do if Tumbahangphe did not resign from the post of deputy speaker, party Spokesperson Shrestha said his party was confident that Tumbahangphe, who had devoted her life to the cause of democracy and who had been associated with the party for long, would resign to help the party get its candidate elected to the post of speaker.

“I cannot think that Tumbahangphe, who is a wise leader, won’t resign from her post. As we are the ruling party, we cannot give up our claim on the post of speaker,” Shrestha said.