Four sessions in a year of the reinstated parliament
KATHMANDU, JULY 18: On Tuesday, it will be one year since the Supreme Court-mandated government received a vote of confidence. Since Prime Minister Deuba received the vote of confidence from the meeting of the House of Representatives on May 17, 2021, this government has been running continuously until now. Parliament has had four conventions in a year. Three months after the Deuba government was formed, it had to face a lot of criticism. While taking the vote of confidence, Prime Minister Deuba stated that the first priority of his government was to protect the citizens from the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the current first priority is vaccination, the second priority is vaccination and the third priority is vaccination. He said that the three priorities are vaccine, vaccine, vaccine. And the government succeeded in bringing enough COVID-19 vaccines. However, as the covid pandemic began to decline, the government's attention diverted elsewhere.
In the span of three months, as the government was criticized for many things, the disputes surrounding the US-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the State Partnership Program (SPP) also increased sharply.
MCC was passed through an explanatory declaration, and the SPP agreement was not concluded. But the letter has not been sent yet. Prime Minister Deuba, who was going to visit the US, had to cancel the visit after getting into the SPP controversy. The Deuba government has been criticized for many such issues. In some cases, the Congress party has opposed the work done by the Deuba government.
Deuba was also criticized for issuing an ordinance related to political parties so that 20 percent of the members of the parliamentary party or the party's central committee could split the party by ending the session within a month of the restoration of the parliament and withdrawing the ordinance after the party split. Now, by introducing the First Amendment Bill 2079 related to the Constitutional Council (Works, Duties and Rights and Procedures), the provision that 50 percent of those present can decide was opposed. This bill has been withdrawn due to opposition from the Congress itself. Prime Minister Deuba was also criticized for not being able to present the bill to replace the Ordinance Budget issued by the previous Oli government at the right time and creating a situation of 'budget shutdown' for the first time in history. He was increasingly criticized for the fact that he was allowed to invest unresourced assets in some businesses specified in last year's budget, as well as for not giving business to the parliament and not trying to elect the deputy speaker who had been vacant for a long time. Prime Minister Deuba gave a complete shape to his Cabinet in about three months, but there was unprecedented criticism in the selection of ministers.
The Chief Justice himself got involved in the dispute over the division of ministries. Chief Justice's brother-in-law Gajendra Hamal was chosen to be made Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, but he had to resign immediately after being criticized. The government was also embroiled in a dispute over whether to proceed with the US-aided Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant agreement. Deuba was also criticized for not being able to form a common opinion in the ruling alliance on the agreement with the MCC.
The Deuba government was also accused of not being able to balance relations with neighboring countries China and India. Deuba, who formed the government when the second wave of the coronavirus infection was on the rise, could not give a complete shape to the Cabinet for three months. Failure to appoint a minister was considered the biggest failure of Prime Minister Deuba and the ruling coalition. As a result, the UML got a chance to cover up its mistakes, analysts say, and the popular opinion of the Congress party began to decline.
The first convention of parliament continued from July 18, 2021 to August 16, 2021. The first meeting of the eighth convention of the House of Representatives, which was reinstated by the decision of the Supreme Court on July 18, lasted until August 16. In this convention, budget related ordinances and other ordinances introduced by the Oli government were introduced. In the second meeting on July 18, 2021, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, in order to clarify that the House of Representatives has confidence in him in accordance with sub-article (6) of Article 76 of the Constitution of Nepal, divided the votes and presented it for a vote of confidence. During the zero hours and at special times, time was provided to express one's opinion on current affairs and reports of various commissions were presented. Parliamentarians demanded an answer regarding the search for Jaisingh Dhami, who fell from a Tuin (improvised cable crossing) while crossing the Mahakali River and went missing, and Home Minister Balkrishna Khand said that the search is on for him. The then Finance Minister Janardhan Sharma and the state minister for Health and Population Umesh Shrestha gave a statement of public importance regarding the efforts being made by the government in the prevention and management of vaccination against COVID-19.
Likewise, the ninth session of the House of Representatives continued from September 8, 2021 to November 28. The main opposition CPN-UML’s obstruction remained in meetings throughout the term. When the government did not have a parliament, the UML split the party by bringing an ordinance on political parties on August 1. In this session, the budget for the financial year 2078/79 was passed amid the opposition of UML. In the meeting held on October 9, 2021, the resolution to withdraw the Federal Civil Service Bill, 2075, which originated in the House of Representatives, was passed.
The tenth convention of the House of Representatives continued till December 14, 2021. UML's obstruction continued in this convention as well. During this period, the ordinance which was introduced again as the ordinance had expired was introduced. During this convention, the Grant Aid Agreement (Millennium Challenge Compact) signed between the Government of Nepal and the American aid agency Millennium Challenge Corporation was presented on February 20, 2022, and it was approved by the majority with an explanatory declaration in the assembly meeting on February 27. During this period, the then Chief Justice Cholendra Samsher Jabara was impeached.
After registering the impeachment proposal, the impeachment recommendation committee was formed on March 6, 2022. An impeachment motion against Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher Jabara was filed with the support of 95 members of the five-party alliance. In the assembly meeting on March 6, 2022, it was informed that the suspension was carried out during the investigation of the extortion case.
In the budget convention held from May 17, 2022, the Nepal Citizenship Bill was withdrawn and a new bill was registered, and during this period, the post of Deputy Speaker, which had been vacant for two and a half years, was elected. In which Pushpa Bhusal has been elected as the deputy speaker.