Review Nepal News

Don’t make the parliament functionless

www.reviewnepal.com
  Kathmandu, Nepal      January 14 2020

The Lower House of the federal Parliament has been remained functionless since three months due to the differences within the ruling head Nepal Communist Party (NCP) over the issue of picking candidate for the post of Speaker. The parliamentary meeting was postponed for the third time on Sunday till 1 PM of January 20 citing a special reason. The so-called special reason was nothing than differences within the ruling head NCP to pick the candidate for the post of speaker. The post has remained vacant after Krishna Bahadur Mahara stepped down on October 2, 2019 following an allegation of sexual harassment against a junior employee of the parliament secretariat. Two previous lower house sessions that were to be held on December 27, 2019, and January 1 under Fifth Federal Parliament session that commenced from December 20 last year were adjourned without any reason. In the absence of speaker, deputy speaker of Shivamaya Tumbahamphe has to be allowed to chair the meeting. But the party has not allowed Tumbahamphe even to conduct the meeting but mounting pressure Tumbahamphe to tender her resignation.  The meeting of the House of Representatives has been greatly affected by the ongoing indecision of the ruling NCP NCP.

The election for the speaker has emerged as daunting task because of the constitutional provision that speaker and deputy speaker to be representatives from different parties and of the opposite sex. As per the constitutional provision, the election under clause (1) shall be so held that there is one woman as either speaker or deputy speaker, and the speaker and the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives shall be representatives from different parties. But the ruling head NCP is not willing to elevate neither deputy speaker Tumbahangphe nor another candidate from the other parties, thanks to the arrogance of its majority strength in the parliament. Tumbahangphe is forced back to be candidate in the post of speaker because former UML faction and former Maoist faction are competing themselves to have their own ‘men’ in the post of speaker. The former UML faction wants to bring Subash Chandra Nembang while former Maoist faction wants to bring Agni Prasad Sapkota. The leaders of the NCP want to put Tumbahangphe out of the race and repeatedly been asking her to tender her resignation but she been has denying after some leaders of the NCP including the president Bidya Devi Bhandari is backing her to pick candidate for the speaker post. Not only the leaders of the ruling head NCP but also the commoners have also raised question marks over the NCP that how the party responds to the woman. 
 
Being the head of the government with majority strength in the parliament, the NCP deserves the right to elect its member in the post of speaker but not to make the parliament functionless. The leaders of the NCP should be clear here that parliament is not the personal property even though the party has bagged majority strength in the parliament. This is nothing than a matter of shame that the ruling head NCP has consulted neither the main opposition Nepali Congress nor the other parties over this matter. As the constitution has provisioned that either speaker or deputy speaker of House of Representatives should be from different parties, the NCP should have consulted with other parties once the post remained vacant. The NCP has to realize here that to keep the parliament headless for over three months in itself is against the parliamentary practice. Being the representative of the people and head of the government, we would like to suggest the NCP to be responsible towards the people and to respect the parliamentary values and norms. We see no reason why Tumbahangphe cannot be elected to the post. She is qualified enough for the post. The only thing to require is that the party should not prejudice towards woman.