KATHMANDU, May 18: Ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has been mulling over not vacating the post of speaker or deputy speaker in favor of another party, amid an argument over the relevant constitutional provision.
The constitution states that the speaker and deputy speaker of the House of Representatives should be elected from different political parties and be of different genders. With the merger of the two parties into one, questions have been raised whether the speaker or his deputy should not resign. Incumbent Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara is from the erstwhile Maoist Center party and Deputy Speaker Shanta Chaudhari is from erstwhile UML.
Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna claimed that with the merger of the UML and the Maoists into one party, the post of either speaker or deputy speaker should be vacated in line with the constitution. “The NCP should vacate one of the two posts if they have respect for the constitution,” he said.
However, ruling NCP leader Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal said neither the speaker nor the deputy speaker will resign as they have already given up party membership. “The constitutional provision only applies while electing the speaker or deputy speaker. As both of them have already resigned their party memberships and the statute article applies only during their election to the posts, there is no point debating the issue further,” he said.
Article 91 Clause 2 (1) of the constitution has stated 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.
Nepali Congress (NC) leaders said that they won’t comment on the issue right away.