The process of passing the House of Representatives (HoR) regulations has been stalled due to lack of trust between Speaker Dev Raj Ghimire and lawmakers of the ruling coalition.
Draft for the regulation was unanimously passed by the regulation drafting committee of the HoR on January 18. CPN-UML was in the then ruling coalition that made CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal the prime minister on December 25, 2022 at that time and UML’s candidate Ghimire was elected speaker as per the agreement reached between UML and Moist Center the next day.
The regulation has to be passed by the HoR to come into effect.
But the then ruling coalition unraveled after Nepali Congress (NC), Maoist Center, CPN (Unified Socialist) and Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) decided to revive the pre-election coalition ahead of the presidential election scheduled on March 9.
UML then quit the government and is now the main opposition party while the then main opposition NC is the largest party in the current ruling coalition.
Lawmakers of NC, Maoist Center, JSP and Unified Socialist have now registered amendments in the unanimously passed draft regulation to curtail rights of the speaker fearing Ghimire may toe the line of UML.
The amendment proposals require the works that the speaker could do as per the regulation to be done through the decision of business advisory committee led by speaker and including representatives of the political parties, deputy speaker and law minister.
Lawmakers of the ruling coalition claim that the amendments have been proposed to ensure that Ghimire does not toe the line of UML and add that he is already discriminating while allotting time to speak to UML lawmakers and lawmakers of the coalition.
Ghimire has taken the amendment proposals as an attempt by the ruling parties to curtail his rights and the process of discussing the regulation in the House has not moved forward.
House businesses including formation of House committees to conducting parliamentary hearings have been affected as the regulation for operation of the House has not been passed by the HoR.
Speaker Ghimire has held discussion with whips of the main parties and the lawmakers who have filed amendments to resolve the issue but to no avail. He even met PM Dahal on Sunday to discuss the issue but the meeting also seems to have failed to resolve the issue.
“Speaker believes that the regulation will move forward as per the earlier consensus among the parties,” a member of Speaker Ghimire’s secretariat told Setopati. “But Speaker will take a stance if it leads to confrontation. Speaker may not initiate the process to pass the regulation in that situation.”