Lawmakers object to new order of precedence for public office holders

Published On: January 13, 2019 04:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 13: Lawmakers on Sunday expressed concern over the government’s recent rearrangement of the order of precedence for public office holders.

Speaking during the zero hour of the Parliament, ruling Nepal Communist Party lawmaker Haribol Gajurel objected to the new order of precedence introduced by the government recently. He urged the government to amend the new order of precedence.

"The government should not have brought the new order of precedence in a haphazard manner. It needs to be amended immediately," he said. Last week, the government brought the new order of precedence to define the hierarchy of functionaries and officials by reshuffling the protocol list of February 2018. Another lawmaker Hairaj Adhikari also urged the government to amend the new order of precedence.

The government had reviewed the order of precedence following disgruntlement on the part of provincial assembly speakers, deputy speakers and chiefs and deputy chiefs of rural municipalities, and made the new order public on Thursday.

Discontent has surfaced over the new arrangement for VVIPs and VIPs after it excluded former deputy speakers and National Assembly deputy chairpersons while including individuals down to former members of parliament and members of the then constituent assembly (CA). 

According to sources, incumbent deputy speaker Shiva Maya Tumbamphe, vice chairperson of the upper house Shashi Kala Dahal and former deputy speakers expressed concern over the place in the hierarchy for former deputy speakers and deputy chairpersons. 

Former deputy speaker Ganga Prasad Yadav said that he plans to draw the attention of the prime minister to the issue. “I talked to former speaker Subas Nembang about this and will draw the attention of the prime minister also,” he said. 

Though the new arrangement has promoted provincial assembly deputy speakers to the ninth rank from 13, deputy speakers are still complaining that they are below state ministers of the provincial government. 

Earlier, deputy speakers of provincial assembly were listed below the secretaries of provincial assemblies. Demanding a review of the hierarchy that was fixed in January last year, speakers and deputy speakers of provincial assemblies had held a meeting with the prime minister in  December following a meeting of the speakers and deputy speakers of the seven provinces held in Chitwan. 

Similarly, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed concern over the placing of its commissioners below the army chief. 

“The newly released hierarchy has mentioned constitutional body commissioners and members below the army chief. This could affect the effectiveness of investigations into human rights violation, monitoring and issuing of orders,” said NHRC Commissioner Mohana Ansari. 

Earlier, the army chief was listed just below the members and commissioners of constitutional bodies. 

Addressing the demands of local unit chiefs, the newly reviewed hierarchy has ranked the chiefs of rural municipalities above chief district officers and joint secretaries of the government. 

Local unit representatives elected to district coordination committee coordinators and mayors of metropolitan cities have been ranked above government secretaries and chief judges and judges of high courts.


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