May 30, 2017 12:20 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, May 30: Ruling party lawmakers on Monday finally withdrew the impeachment motion they had filed against Chief Justice Sushila Karki, after the main opposition CPN-UML threatened to obstruct the fiscal-year budget.
Meen Bahadur Biswakarma of Nepali Congress (NC), who proposed the impeachment motion, and Tek Bahadur Basnet of CPN (Maoist Center), who seconded it, withdrew the motion and requested Speaker Onsari Gharti accordingly, following an agreement reached at the top political level.
“The impeachment motion has been withdrawn in view of the need for cordial relations, cooperation and mutual assistance among the constitutional bodies at this sensitive phase of constitution implementation,” reads the written request submitted to the speaker.
Earlier, the agreement at the top political level nothwithstanding, the lawmakers proposing and seconding the motion had declined to withdraw it. They had argued that the apex court had only ordered 'not to move forward' with the motion until a final ruling and that withdrawing the motion would run counter to the prerogatives of parliament.
The NC and Maoist Center had agreed on Saturday to withdraw the impeachment motion but lawmakers Biswakarma and Basnet wrote to the speaker on Sunday requesting only not to move forward with the motion. They had argued that the speaker can deactivate the motion through exercise of her prerogative powers.
Following the UML's stance, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba instructed Biswakarma and Basnet to withdraw the motion.
The budget presentation was delayed for nearly an hour as the UML stuck to its stance of not allowing House business to proceed until the impeachment motion was first withdrawn.
Parliament had put the impeachment on hold after the Supreme Court ruled on May 5 that parliament should not proceed with the motion until a final ruling The apex court also said the motion went against the spirit of the constitution and the independence of the judiciary.
As many as 249 lawmakers from the two ruling parties had registered the impeachment motion against CJ Karki. The motion accused her of encroaching upon the powers of the executive branch when issuing an order in the police chief appointment case.
Chief Justice Karki is retiring from her post on June 7 because of the age bar.