Statute amendment bill aims at saving monarchy: MPs

Kathmandu, June 7:

Members of Parliament from different parties today accused the government of registering the Interim Constitution Second Amendment Bill 2007 at the Parliament Secretariat to retain the monarchy.

“It is a part of a conspiracy to retain the monarchy,” Ishwor Pokhrel, an MP from the CPN (UML), claimed. “The amendment bill has a provision to remove the king if he hinders the elections to the Constituent Assembly,” he noted.

“But why should we wait for him to hinder the CA polls and not assume the power to

remove him when it has been proved that the monarchy acted against the interest of the people and democracy?”

The lawmakers today discussed the amendment and passed a proposal tabled by Minister of State for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Indra Bahadur Gurung. The House passed the proposal to consider the bill. A parliamentary committee will hold a clausewise discussion before approving the amendment.

He also accused the government of trying to curb the authority of the parliamentary Hearing Committee entitled to discuss the appointment of ambassadors. “The authority to conduct hearings before the appointment of Supreme Court judges, ambassadors and officials of constitutional bodies should not be curbed.”

Prakash Jwala, also from the CPN-UML, urged the government to adopt a provision to automatically remove the monarchy without any conditions “as the king has shown its anti-people and anti-democratic character.”

The proposed provision of registering a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister once in a year is flawed, he said, adding that there should be a provision to register the no-confidence motion whenever the need for the same arises.

Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat termed the proposed amendment a move taken in a hurry.

Lila Mani Pokhrel, an MP from the Jana Morcha Nepal, demanded that a provision, which will enable the parliament to impeach the king any time, be introduced in the constitution. He opposed the government’s intention to curtail the power of the parliamentary Hearing Committee. “Hearing should be conducted before appointments.” .

An MP from the Nepali Congress (D), Gopal Man Shrestha, also called the government to amend the constitution after assessing whether the CA elections can be held by mid- December.

All decisions of the eight-party alliance cannot be taken as final decisions, Nava Raj Subedi of the Jana Morcha Nepal said.

Another MP, Bijaya Subba, criticised the amendment bill for not respecting the demands of women, Dalits and Janajaties. He said the amendment bill should be passed only after addressing concerns of these groups.