KATHMANDU, July 27: The main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), has demanded the post of either speaker or deputy speaker in parliament.
The party has maintained that the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has to give up either the post of speaker or deputy speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) in line with the constitutional provision. While the erstwhile CPN (Maoist Center) leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara was elected as speaker, Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe of the erstwhile CPN-UML was elected to the post of deputy speaker of the HoR. But the two parties united later.
Article 91 2 (1) of the constitution states that the speaker or deputy should be from different political parties. The clause further explains that in case only a single party files candidacies for the posts or only a single party is represented in the House, the provision does not apply.
With the merger of the two parties into Nepal Communist Party (NCP), the main opposition party has demanded the resignation of either speaker or deputy speaker in line with the constitutional provision. The ruling NCP has maintained that there is no point in resigning from the post as speaker and deputy speaker belonged to different political parties when they were elected.
The main opposition party, however, is not ready to subscribe to the position of the ruling party. “The constitution has envisioned to have speaker and deputy speaker from two separate parties. It does not mention anything whether they are elected from different parties or not,” NC lawmaker Minendra Rijal said in the parliament meeting on Friday.
Lawmaker Rijal argued that this is further clarified by the Act Relating to Political Parties as this clearly states that the speaker and deputy speaker should come from different political parties. As a petition demanding speaker and deputy speaker of the house from different parties is currently sub judice, the NCP leaders have maintained that they will follow the verdict of the court.
Although NC leaders have maintained that the ruling party cannot hold both the positions, showing pretext of the sub judice case in the court, the ruling party does not seem to budge on their demand. “This is a sub judice case. This issue cannot be raised in parliament,” said ruling NCP lawmaker Krishna Bhakta Pokharel, while raising objection over the issue in parliament.