Mahara to shut down House to visit China

Kathmandu, August 29

Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara is all set to shut down the House of Representatives for five days to visit China at a time when the deadline for endorsement of 17 bills on fundamental rights that are crucial for proper implementation of the constitution is approaching.

Mahara’s absence will lead to complete shutdown of the House and he cannot hand over his responsibilities to the deputy speaker when he is not present. This is because the law allows the deputy speaker to handle businesses of the Parliament only after the Speaker opens a meeting in the House.

Mahara is leaving for China on September 7 and will return on September 11. “Although I will be away for five days, the House meetings will be obstructed for only three days because the remaining two days are public holidays,” Mahara told THT. Worse, Mahara will not be able to call the House meeting right after he returns from China as September 12 is also a public holiday to mark Teej festival.

Mahara needs to be present in the country because the Parliament must enact 17 laws related to fundamental rights before September 18. The House is already behind schedule in endorsing these bills because it has been shut down for a week due to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation summit in Kathmandu.

Mahara, however, said he intends to forward those bills to the respective thematic committees for clause-wise discussion before leaving for China. These laws are crucial for proper implementation of the constitution promulgated in September 2015. The constitution clearly says laws on fundamental rights must be enacted within three years after promulgation.

Mahara is visiting China to attend the 4th China-Tibet Tourism and Culture Expo at the invitation of the Chinese government. He will lead a 10-member team of parliamentarians and parliamentary secretariat secretary to attend the event in Lhasa. His team, among others, includes lawmakers Hem Kumar Rai from Solukhumbhu, Rangmati Shahi from Humla, Uma Shankar Argariya from Dhanusha, Shantimaya Tamang Pakhrin from Dolakha and Parliament Secretariat Secretary Bharat Raj Gautam. The lawmakers attending the trip are from all the major political parties, including Nepal Communist Party, Nepali Congress, Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal and Ratriya Janata Party-Nepal, according to a Parliament Secretariat official.