Kathmandu: In an attempt to consolidate the power and make appointments to constitutional bodies unilaterally, the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government has registered a bill to amend the Constitutional Council Act (Functions, Duties and Procedures) 2010 in the National Assembly, the upper house.
As per the Constitution of Nepal, the council is headed by the Prime Minister while Chief Justice, Speaker and Deputy Speaker from the House of Representatives, Chairperson of the National Assembly and the leader of the main opposition party are the members of the council.
In December 2020, then Prime Minister KP Oli had introduced an ordinance with the provision to reduce the quorum required for holding the meeting of the council. The ordinance had reduced the quorum required to hold the meeting from five members to three, with a simple majority of two members enough to recommend appointments to constitutional bodies.
Sher Bahadur Deuba, who was the opposition leader at that time, had vocally criticized the government’s move of amending the act. In a statement, Sher Bahadur Deuba had strongly condemned the government’s decision and called for its withdrawal.
Nearly one and a half years down the line, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has followed the path of the KP Oli-led government. And his intention of amending the act has courted huge criticism.
On Monday, Nepali Congress General Secretary Bishwa Prakash Sharma took to Twitter to react to the attempt of amending the act. He wrote: “The things that were wrong during the Oli government are equally wrong under Deuba. We are crystal clear on this. The government must withdraw the bill related to the Constitutional Council Act. How did this happen? Why does such a thing happen? Who does this? Who advised him to do such a thing? It is regrettable. The Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba must be accountable.”
Earlier, another General Secretary Gagan Kumar Thapa had also assured the withdrawal of the bill.