Maoists to stall budget related bills until no confidence vote

Published On: July 16, 2016 12:50 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, July 16: Parliamentary endorsement of the remaining bills related to fiscal budget has become uncertain with the CPN (Maoist Center), a major ruling coalition partner, deciding not to vote in support of the bills.

A meeting held at the Maoist Center headquarters on Friday decided not to let the three budget-related bills pass from Parliament pending the outcome of the no confidence motion filed by the party and the Nepali Congress against the prime minister.

Pulling out its support from the government, the Maoist Center had registered a no confidence motion against the government led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

Though the House endorsed budget speech and appropriation bill, three budget related bills--Financial Bill, Bill on Raising Public Debt and Debt and Guarantee Bill--are yet to be endorsed by Parliament.

The Maoist Center has said that the party was not against the bills but would vote in their favor only if they are brought for voting after the proceedings related to the no confidence motion take place in the House.

"Our party has decided to endorse the remaining budget related bills only after the House decides upon the no confidence motion against the government," said Maoist Center Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal after the party meeting.

Leaders from the party also opined that the remaining budget were not urgent as the appropriation bill is already endorsed by the House.

Meanwhile, Speaker Onsari Gharti adjourned the House meeting for July 21 issuing a notice on Friday. House meeting had been convened for Friday afternoon to discuss and endorse the budget related three bills.

"I studied past precedent, practices and decided not to entertain any other agenda in the House before the no confidence motion proceedings," Gharti told journalist after adjourning the House.

The ruling CPN-UML has opposed the speaker's decision, citing that it was a unilateral move. "Despite our request to include the bills in the House business, the Speaker adjourned the House meeting unilaterally," said UML Chief Whip Bhanubhakta Dhakal.

However, Maoist Center leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara claimed that the speaker's move was appropriate as parliamentary regulations do not allow discussion on any other issue after a no confidence motion has been registered against the government in Parliament.

The main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) Senior Leader Ram Chandra Paudel said that the NC respected the speaker's decision.

House to debate no confidence motion on July 21
Speaker Onsari Gharti has set July 21 as the date for discussing the no confidence motion against Prime Minister K P Oli. Over 280 lawmakers from various 13 political parties, including main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center), had signed on the no confidence motion. Parliamentary regulations entrust on the speaker to finalize the date for holding discussions on parliamentary motions. After a general discussion, the motion will be put on vote for decision.

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