Kathmandu, March 13
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota, who is also the government’s spokesperson, said the government treated Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal as a terrorist outfit and decided to ban its activities.
“CPN is not a political outfit because it is not registered with the Election Commission. It is a terrorist outfit. We have not banned a political party because we cannot do so,” Baskota added.
Constitutional experts Surendra Kumar Mahto, Bipin Adhikari and Chandra Kanta Gyawali said the government had no power to ban any political party, but it can ban terrorist activities of any party.
Senior Advocate Mahto said as per Article 270 of the constitution, no political party could be banned but if any party or its leaders indulged in violence or criminal activities, then the government could prosecute the party and the leaders responsible for such activities. Mahto said as per the new constitution and Political Party Act, all parties that wanted to be recognised as political parties should register themselves with the EC.
He said laws that existed before the promulgation of the constitution in 2015 allowed a political party to be recognised as a political outfit even if it did not register itself with the poll panel, but under the new constitution a party had to register with the poll panel to get recognised as a political outfit.
Under the old laws, only those parties that wanted to take part in elections were required to register themselves with the EC.
“The government had no option but to ban CPN’s activities. The government should not hold talks with a party that indulges in criminal activities, violence and intimidation or else it will encourage impunity,” he added.
Gyawali, on the other hand said, “In a multi-party system like ours, the government cannot ban a political outfit, but it can do so if a party indulges in criminal activities.”
A version of this article appears in print on March 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.