KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 24

Nepali Congress lawmaker in the National Assembly Radhe Shyam Adhikari has accused the KP Sharma Oli-led government of undermining the Parliament by not calling its winter session and issuing ordinances one after another. The government recently issued two ordinances to facilitate registration of COVID-19 vaccines and punish people guilty of forcing reconciliation on rape victims.

Adhikari said while the issuing of ordinances could be justified, justification of a move alone was not enough. “In a democracy, following procedures and norms is also important,” he said. He added that the government should have discussed the new laws in the Parliament rather than issuing ordinances.

He said the Parliament was the only place where the government’s arbitrary behaviour could be effectively checked.

“The budget session of the Parliament runs till mid-October, but the government abruptly ended it almost twoand-a-half months before it should have ended,” he said.

“An ordinance should be used in an extremely rare situation when the Parliament is not in session. But it appears that the government is trying to rule on the basis of ordinance, bypassing the Parliament, the sole body for enacting laws,” he argued.

Former speaker Damannath Dhungana said the government, by not calling the new session of Parliament, was trying to give an impression that other organs of the state were not significant.

When a country faces an unprecedented crisis, the Parliament is often called to discuss pressing issues. The government should have called the Parliament to discuss the COVID-19 crisis.

Allegation of corruption against government authorities dealing with the COV- ID-19 crisis justified the need for calling the new session of Parliament, yet the government did not do that, he added.

He said Nepali Congress, the main opposition party, should have asserted itself when the government ended the budget session abruptly. “It should have registered a petition with the Samajwa- di Janata Party-Nepal’s support, seeking a special session of the Parliament, but it also failed in its duty.”

Dhungana said the Parliament was the only place where the government could be made accountable for its actions.

He said there were many urgent bills pending in the Parliament, yet the government was not calling the new session of Parliament.

Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe said the government had told the Parliament Secretariat to make necessary changes in the Parliament building, but had not yet decided on the date for convening the winter session. She said the government might call the winter session in the next two to three weeks.

Chief Whip of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Dev Prasad Gurung said it was up to the government to call the new session of Parliament, but his party could take a decision on it in the next Secretariat meeting slated for Saturday.

As per the constitutional provision, there should not be a gap of more than six months between two sessions of the Parliament.

The government had prorogued the budget session of Parliament on July 2 following an intra-party feud in NCP.

The government is trying to rule on the basis of ordinance, bypassing the Parliament • Nepali Congress lawmaker Radhe Shyam Adhikari