Koshi Province Speaker sets a bad precedent

Speaker Baburam Gautam cast vote in favor of Uddab Thapa to make him the chief minister. The move has been widely criticized.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The Speaker of Koshi provincial assembly Baburam Gautam cast his vote in favor of Uddab Thapa, the Nepali Congress parliamentary leader of the province, who was vying for the post of the chief minister. Following this, Thapa has been appointed as chief minister based on majority claims with the backing of the Speaker.

Thapa was appointed after his predecessor, the then Chief Minister of Koshi Province, Hikmat Kumar Karki, failed to win a vote of confidence from the Provincial Assembly, leading to the collapse of the UML-led government in the province.

By dragging himself into the voting for the chief minister, Gautam not only breached the principle of neutrality that a speaker is supposed to maintain but also set a bad precedent in parliamentary process.

Gautam’s move has been widely criticized by political leaders, legal experts as well as the people on social media.

Nepali Congress leader Dr Shekhar Koirala has criticized the move of Gautam saying that the Province Assembly Speaker should play a neutral role in the formation of the provincial government. “The Speaker giving his support in the government formation as a member of the Province Assembly might create a difficult situation in the future,” he said.

“There is the possibility of the opposition party, the CPN (UML), knocking on the court’s door over the manner the Koshi provincial government was formed. We should all accept the court’s decision,” he told reporters in Biratnagar.