Constitutional Lawyers’ Forum urges govt to immediately withdraw ordinances

Published On: April 21, 2020 09:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 21: While concluding that the two separate ordinances promulgated by the government on Monday go against the spirit of the constitution, the Constitutional Lawyers' Forum (CLaF) has urged the government to immediately withdraw these controversial ordinances.

A meeting of the constitutional lawyers held under the chairmanship of advocate Raju Prasad Chapagain on Tuesday called the government to immediately withdraw the ordinances in order to create a healthy constitutional and political environment in the country in the wake of  the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The government on Monday issued ordinances in order to amend Political Parties Act, 2017 and Constitutional Council (Works, Duties and Procedure) Act, 2010. The amended provisions in these laws make it easy for a dissenting faction within a political party to split it at its convenience and undermine the role of the main opposition party in the Constitutional Council, which makes crucial appointments in various constitutional bodies including the Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA). 

The lawyers’ body concluded that the government's move undermines the constitutional spirit, jurisprudence as well as the constitutional customs in relation to issue the ordinance henceforth, and demanded immediate withdrawal of both these ordinances. It also said that the government’s move was guided by petty political interests of Prime Minister KP Oli to prolong his hold on power. 

While adding that constitution provides power to the government to promulgate ordinances deemed necessary to address urgent issues, the body has reminded that the government cannot exercise such power to fulfill one’s petty political interests. 

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