UML to not compromise on PHC strength

Kathmandu, May 21

As the time to settle disputes between the ruling parties and the Nepali Congress over the strength of Parliamentary Hearing Committee nears, the CPN-UML appears determined to settle the issue through voting.

The ruling parties led by the CPN-UML have registered an amendment proposal in the Parliament on the draft Parliamentary Regulations seeking to form a 15-member PHC, whereas the NC has also registered its proposal in favour of a 75-member PHC.

UML Chief Whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal said his party was determined to pass the draft of Parliamentary Regulations on the basis of majority votes in the Parliament to ensure formation of a 15-member PHC.

Dhakal said his party would continue discussing the issue with the NC and could offer olive branch on other issues but would not compromise on the strength of the PHC. “It is a mandatory constitutional provision to have a 15-member PHC. We cannot compromise on this issue no matter what consequences we might have to face,” he said, adding his party would remain committed to implementing the constitutional provisions.

Dhakal said they would try to convince the NC to support the UML in implementing the constitutional provisions. “I cannot understand why the NC is trying to rally support of other parties in favour of forming a 75-member PHC,” said Dhakal.

A ruling party source said Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was likely to talk to NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba in his attempt to take the principal opposition on board the process to pass the Parliamentary Regulations.

CPN-Maoist Centre lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari said he expected that the draft of Parliamentary Regulations would be put to vote by May 29.

Discussion on the amendment proposals registered on the draft of Parliamentary Regulations would start in the House when it convenes its meeting on May 26.

NC lawmaker Radheshyam Adhikari, who chaired the Parliamentary Regulations Drafting Committee, said there were 50-50 chances of the NC supporting or opposing the ruling parties’ stance on the draft of the Parliamentary Regulations. “The NC might decide in the last hour that it is not an issue to remain divided on the strength of PHC or it can side with the fringe parties, who favour the 75-member PHC,” Adhikari added.

Parliamentary Regulations would help formation of PHC, which will confirm or reject newly nominated 11 Supreme Court justices and 22 ambassadors.