Bid to have the rule to punish lawmakers changed in limbo

KATHMANDU: The amendment to parliamentary rules of procedures could not make headway on Wednesday after the major parties remained divided over suspension of lawmakers who have criminal history.


The non-Maoist parties have proposed introducing a rule to suspend lawmakers imprisoned for criminal offenses and convicted by court. The stalemate continued today to finalise the rule amendment. “We have reached consensus on two contentious issues,” said UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker and subcommittee coordinator Amrita Thapa Magar. “There has been an understanding that the chief whips of major parties will consult with their party leadership and resolve this issue.”


The agreement on the issue will enable the parliament to suspend lawmaker Shyam Sundar Gupta who is doing time for his involvement in kidnapping a businessman. The Maoists fear that the provision will apply to their lawmaker Bal Krishna Dhungel who has been handed down a life term by the Supreme Court.


Meanwhile, the subcommittee agreed on the procedures for forwarding the report of the State Restructuring Commission to the Constitutional Committee (CC) in Wednesday’s meeting. Speaker Subas Nembang will now consult with lawmakers of the Committee on Restructuring of State and Devolution of State Power and forward the report to the CC with suggestions from lawmakers in the committee. “We have agreed that there was no need to amend the rule,” said NC lawmaker Ramesh Lekhak.


The SRC report submitted to the government more than a month ago has been languishing in the parliament due to differences among parties on rule amendment. Meanwhile parties have got another ten day to come to consensus on contentious issues related to the new constitution. The all-party mechanism extended the deadline for dispute resolution a day after the expiry of the schedule for forging consensus on contentious issues. The meeting discussed the demand for two-week extension of the deadline. “We expect that the parties will resolve the outstanding issues in ten days,” said Speaker Subas Nembang.

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