Nepal Communist Party, Deputy Speaker Shivamaya Tumbahangphe, House of Representatives, house speaker
KATHMANDU, Jan 12: More than three months after then speaker of the House of Representatives Krishna Bahadur Mahara resigned from the position, the ruling Nepal Communist Party has sought the resignation of Deputy Speaker Shivamaya Tumbahangphe also.
Top leaders of the NCP urged Deputy Speaker Tumbahangphe to resign from her position a day before the scheduled parliamentary meeting. The NCP, which commands a majority in parliament, has said a decision has been taken to fill the vacant post of speaker but it has not given any clear idea who the candidate for next speaker will be.
“Our party has decided to field a candidate for speaker. For this, it has been decided to seek the resignation of Deputy Speaker Shivamaya Tumbahangphe,” said the party’s spokesperson, Narayan Kaji Shrestha.
Whoever occupies the position of speaker plays a decisive role in running parliamentary business.
Although the deputy speaker’s secretariat said she would resign from her position on Sunday before the parliamentary meeting scheduled for 1 pm begins, it was not clear whether she would actually do so and pave the way for electing a new speaker. When an attempt was made to get her comments on her next move, her cell phone was temporarily out of service.
During her meeting with the two-party chairmen, KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Tumbahangphe hinted that she would resign only if the party assured her of her own candidacy for the speaker position. She has reportedly softened her stance since. In a bid to balance internal party politics, the NCP leaders have assured Tumbahangphe that she will be offered a ministerial post with the portfolio of law. There has been no law minister since last month after Samajbadi Party chief Upendra Yadav resigned from the position over his dissatisfaction with PM Oli for not taking any initiative to amend the Constitution as promised.
NCP leaders are still divided between “former Maoists” and “former UML” over who should be the speaker.
Oli wants to elect two-times speaker Subas Nemabang once again, citing his experience and diplomatic skill in dealing with other parties. Dahal, however, is lobbying for Agni Prasad Sapkota.
As part of resolving intra-party frictions, they are also discussing about fielding Nembang as parliamentary chief and offering the position of deputy leader in the party to someone from the “former Maoists” group. Party leaders also believe Tumbahangphe could resign provided the law ministry is given to her.
The position of speaker has been vacant since early October following the resignation of Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who has been accused of rape attempt and is currently in jail for investigations.