Opposition lawmakers demand withdrawal of Constitution Council Amendment Ordinance


The House of Representatives, which met today after it was reinstated by the Supreme Court order, saw unruly scenes with lawmakers from opposition parties raising slogans against the government from the well of the House and ruling party lawmakers close to Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal walking out of the House over its agenda.

The Dahal-Nepal faction also demanded that Oli clarify which party's government he was leading after the Supreme Court nullified the unification between the CPN-UML and the CPN-MC.

Opposition lawmakers from the Nepali Congress and Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal swarmed the well of the House and raised slogans demanding that the government withdraw the Constitution Council Amendment Ordinance.

Bhim Bahadur Rawal, who is in the Dahal-Nepal camp, demanded that only passing of condolence message be listed for today's business, but Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota told the House that the agenda of ordinances had already been listed.

Sapkota gave Minister of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs Lilanath Shrestha time to table the recently issued ordinances in the House, following which lawmakers associated with the Dahal-Nepal faction of the NCP walked out of the House.

When Minister Shrestha tabled the ordinance related to the amendment of Constitutional Council Act, NC lawmakers stalled House proceedings.

NC Whip Pushpa Bhusal, who was then given time to speak in the House, said the government amended the Constitutional Council Act through an ordinance, which was against the spirit of the constitution, and the government should withdraw it.

Bhusal said the government had wrested control in the Constitutional Council, undermining checks and balances maintained by the constitution.

She said the Constitutional Council had the representation of all three state organs, but the ordinance did away with such checks and balances.

Even after Bhusal's demand that the ordinance be withdrawn, the speaker gave time to Minister Shrestha to table the ordinance. NC Chief Whip Bal Krishna Khand rose from his chair and again urged the government to withdraw the ordinance. When the minister tabled the ordinance, lawmakers from the NC and Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal raised slogans in the well of the House, following which Sapkota postponed the House for 10 minutes.

The government however, did not table any other ordinance.

Sapkota scheduled the next meeting of the HoR for 1:00pm on Wednesday.

NCP Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal told mediapersons all necessary measures would be taken to let the parliamentary process go on unhindered after the Supreme Court reinstated the HoR.

He said he would consult lawyers tomorrow, following which his faction would hold Standing Committee meeting to dwell on the apex court's verdict that nullified the unification of CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre to form the NCP.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 08, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.