Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe has once again defied the CPN decision asking her to resign.
Tumbahangphe asked who wrote the party decision on Saturday during a meeting at the prime minister's residence in Baluwatar with CPN Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, another Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Deputy PM Ishwore Pokharel and General Secretary Bishnu Paudel on Sunday. "She asked general secretary comrade to keep his decision himself after he said he had written the decision," a party source confided with Setopati.
Chairman Dahal then pointed that she has been asked to resign so that CPN can get the post of speaker to ease the tension, according to the source. Tumbahangphe replied that she knows the constitutional provision very well and questioned the party's authority to order her to resign.
"The parliament is sovereign. I am its chief now. Party cannot, therefore, instruct me," she argued. "That is also wrong from the perspective of separation of powers."
The leaders then advised her to postpone the House of Representatives (HoR) meeting called for Sunday afternoon putting up a notice. "Today's meeting has been postponed on advice of the CPN leaders," she told Setopati.
Deputy Speaker Tumbahangphe while expressed readiness to postpone the House meeting had added that repeatedly postponing it putting up a notice does not send a good message.
The House meeting, that has already been postponed twice due to the intra-party dispute about speaker, has again been postponed until next Monday.
The secretariat meeting at the prime minister's residence in Baluwatar on Saturday had asked Deputy Speaker Tumbahangphe to resign. She had expressed ignorance about the decision later in the evening.
Tumbahangphe had already turned down the request by CPN Chairmen KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal to resign on Friday.
The chairman duo had urged Tumbahangphe to pave the way for speaker election by resigning during the meeting at the prime minister's residence in Baluwatar Friday. But she asked for the reasons that disqualified her from being the next speaker.
"I was active in student politics and am still active. I have studied and taught. What are my weaknesses?" a source quoted her as asking the chairmen.
She also took exception to comments of CPN Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha and chief whip Dev Gurung that the election process has been stalled due to her refusal to resign.
The source revealed that she urged the chairmen to allow her to continue as deputy speaker if deemed incompetent for speaker.
"I will now move the process forward and do the work I need to in capacity of deputy speaker," the source added her as saying. "The election process will move forward on Sunday. You all resolve the political issues."
Ruling CPN cannot claim for the post of speaker if the election process starts without her resigning. The senior most lawmaker will then run the House if she resigns.
The ruling party will have to ask Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe, whose allegiance is now with CPN having won the last general election on a CPN-UML ticket, to resign to keep the post of speaker with the party as the Constitution prohibits appointment of speaker and deputy speaker from the same party.
Both the former CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) factions are claiming for the post of speaker. Oli wishes to make former Constituent Assembly chairman Subas Chandra Nembang the speaker while Dahal has been insisting that Agni Sapkota from the Maoist faction should get the post.
The Maoist faction points that it should again get the post it had received during the power sharing before party unification.
Deputy Speaker Tumbahangphe's own claim for the post and refusal to resign if denied has compounded matters for the party.
The post of speaker is vacant after Krishna Bahadur Mahara resigned following rape allegation by a federal parliament secretariat staffer.