Hearing of commission chiefs stalled as NC questions nomination process

Published On: January 29, 2019 08:19 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Jan 29: Parliamentary hearings of five nominees for heads of various constitutional commissions has been stalled after protests from main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) lawmakers in the Parliamentary Hearing Committee (PHC) on Monday. 

The opposition lawmakers said that they wouldn't accept the nominations of heads for five commissions stating that the Constitutional Council (CC) had taken the decision in the absence of the main opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba. 

“The decision has been taken without noticing the main opposition leader about the meeting of the council which is unacceptable. The committee should write to the council about lapses in the recommendation processes,” NC Whip Pushpa Bhusal demanded in the PHC meeting. 

The Constitutional Council had recommended former secretary Bala Nanda Poudel for National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission (NNRFC), Shanta  Raj Subedi for National Inclusion Commission, Dr Bijaya Kumar Dutta for Madhesi Commission,  Bishnu Prasad Tharu for Tharu Commission and Samim Ansari for Muslim Commission on January 20. 

NC leaders have claimed that NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is an ex-officio member of the CC as the main opposition leader, was not informed about the CC meeting. According to the Constitutional Council working procedure related law, any member of the committee should be notified about the meeting of the council at least 48 hours before the slated time. Likewise, the procedure states that the committee shall take a decision through a majority only from the third meeting if consensus efforts failed in two previous meetings. 

Members from the opposition NC in the committee Gyanendra Bahadur Karki and Minendra Rijal also claimed that the council has not followed the due process while taking decision on the nominations of commission chiefs. 

Though NC leaders were for sending back the nominations to the CC office, leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Surendra Pandey and Yogesh Bhattarai stood against the proposal claiming that the committee doesn't have such jurisdiction. After the differences between the ruling and opposition lawmakers, PHC chairperson Laxman Lal Karna decided to drop the agenda for the next few days. 

Earlier, the committee had planned to issue a public notice seeking complaints against the nominees on Monday.

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