KATHMANDU, June 7: As the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has become flexible on its previous stance on the conditions under which a lawmaker can be suspended from parliament, a meeting of the House of Representatives is likely to endorse the House regulations on Friday.
Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Sher Bahadur Tamang said that the regulations will be endorsed on Friday either through consensus or through voting.
“The drafting committee will table its report, which was endorsed through consensus from the committee, in the full House meeting. Then further consultations with the opposition will be held if needed,” the minister told Republica on Wednesday.
The regulations had been stalled for a month in the full House after a row between the ruling and opposition parties over suspending lawmakers accused of criminal offense.
According to sources, the ruling NCP has become flexible about endorsing the original report of the drafting committee. Earlier, NCP had demanded that a lawmaker should be suspended immediately after his/her arrest on the charge of a crime or any other case liable for jail term of three years or more.
The draft of the regulations has proposed that a lawmaker should be barred from exercising any power, denied impunity as lawmaker and their remuneration, perks and benefits should be suspended right after the police detention on any criminal case or any other cases liable of jail term for three years or more.
“The original draft of the regulations has also many restrictions for lawmakers accused of criminal offense. We are holding consultations in the party whether we can accept it,” said an NCP leader requesting anonymity.
Lawmakers from the ruling NCP had registered amendments to the regulations, demanding that lawmakers should be suspended from their posts in such situations. After the ruling NCP backed the amendments, the main opposition Nepali Congress and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal had threatened to obstruct the House meeting if the consensus report of the drafting committee was changed by the House. The regulations could not be endorsed by the House for months as leaders from the ruling and opposition parties are divided over the changes in the draft.
Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara had held discussions with the two chairpersons of the NCP and chief whip of the NC, Balkrishna Khand with the view of forging consensus.
A section of the ruling NCP leaders was in favor of NC’s demand but was silent after dominant party leaders lobbied for suspending the lawmakers right from the day of their arrest on a criminal charge.