KATHMANDU, July 27: Parliament on Tuesday endorsed the president’s order to remove the constitutional difficulties in electing a new government, despite criticism from opposition lawmakers.
Lawmakers from Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center), taking part in brief deliberations in the House, strongly criticized the outgoing government for ‘unnecessarily’ recommending to the president to issue the order to remove constitutional difficulties.
“The government has misused the sensitive article just for covering up the incorrect argument of some of its leaders. This was unnecessary as Article 298 of the Constitution clearly paves the way for forming a new government,” said NC leader Ramesh Lekhak.
He further claimed that even the order removing constitutional difficulties has citted the same article on the basis of which some UML leaders had argued that the new government couldn’t be formed.
NC leaders Arjun Narshigh KC, Ishwari Neupane and Radheshyam Adhikari also criticized the government for using the president ‘unnecessarily’. Adhikari said, “The letter from the office of the president fails to even mention that the order was issued following the recommendations of the cabinet.”
Similarly, Maoist Center lawmaker Ramnarayan Bidari accused the government of misinterpretating the Constitution and making unnecessary recommendations just to bolster the incorrect arguments of ruling party leaders.
“This move of the government is an attempt to back those who have misinterpreted the new Constitution, and the institution of the president has been misused in the interest of the government. But we should endorse the presidential order out of respect for the president,” said Bidari.
Opposition lawmakers said they were obliged to endorse the order as its rejection would undermine the institution of the president.
However, UML lawmaker Krishna Bhakta Pokharel urged the opposition lawmakers not to worry about the government’s decision as it was only aimed at paving the way for new government formation without running into any constitutional hitches.
“If some individual went to court raising constitutional difficulties in forming a new government, who will take the responsibility?” asked Pokharel. He reminded the parties of the controversies over Article 298. Lawmakers from fringe parties also appeared divided over the outgoing government’s move. After the discussions, the House unanimously endorsed the order tabled by Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Agni Kharel.