July 7, 2018 05:20 AM NPT
NC also obstructed the National Assembly briefly Friday.
KATHMANDU, July 7: Main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) obstructed the meeting of the House of Representatives on Friday over the ongoing fast-unto-death by crusader for medical education reform Dr Govinda KC. The meeting was adjourned for Monday following obstruction by the opposition party as soon as it commenced.
The NC demanded deliberations on a motion of public importance registered by the party’s lawmakers seeking deliberations on the demands raised by Dr KC, appealing for medication to save his life and passage of the medical education bill as per the spirit of the ordinance it is meant to replace.
The ordinance expired from Thursday as the government has failed to endorse a replacement bill within 60 days of commencement of the ongoing session of parliament as required by the constitution.
The opposition party lawmakers had registered their motion of public importance earlier the same day.
“The ordinance was issued in line with an agreement reached between the government and Dr KC. The doctor has been staging a fast-unto-death demanding the passage of a bill in accordance with the ordinance,” reads the motion registered by NC lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu. Lawmakers Atahar Kamal Musalman and Parbati DC Chaudhary of the same party seconded the motion.
As soon as the House meeting started in the afternoon, lawmakers from the NC rose from their chairs, demanding inclusion of the motion in House business. “Lawmakers from the NC have registered an urgent motion demanding medication for Dr KC to save his life and passage of a medical education bill in accordance with the earlier ordinance. If the motion is not going to be discussed in the House, the meeting cannot proceed,” said NC Chief Whip Balkrishna Khand.
Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara adjourned the meeting for half an hour following the obstruction. But NC lawmakers obstructed the meeting after the half hour adjournment also. They also turned down the speaker’s proposal that they wait till the next meeting of the House. He then adjourned the meeting for Monday.
In the event of a motion of public importance, the minister concerned should answer to parliament at the same meeting after brief deliberations. As Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokhrel was not available on Friday, the speaker decided to put off the House meeting for three days.
Some lawmakers suspect that the decision to put off the meeting for a number of days was a move to obstruct voices in parliament in favor of Dr KC. The speaker used to reconvene the next House meeting within the very next day in similar cases.
Meanwhile, the opposition party also obstructed the National Assembly briefly on Friday over the absence of the ministers concerned during deliberations on matters concerning their ministries.
Prime Minister K P Oli and Defense Minister Ishwar Pokhrel were absent during the deliberations on budget appropriations for the ministries in their portfolios. The deliberations resumed an hour later, after the arrival of Oli.