House meeting deferred as leaders undecided on Speaker

  • December 27, 2019

A meeting of the House of Representatives called for 1:00 pm today has been postponed to January 1.

In a notice to the parliamentarians, the general secretary of the Federal Parliament Manohar Prasad Bhattarai stated that the parliament meeting has been rescheduled due to special reasons.

However, it is evident that the meeting was canceled as the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) failed to pick its candidate for the post of House Speaker.

The post of speaker has been vacant since October 1 following the resignation of then speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara. He resigned after being accused of attempted rape by an employee at the parliament secretariat.

With a few leaders from both former UML and former Maoist factions staking a claim for the post of speaker, the NCP leadership is in a fix over an apt candidate.

Party chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who represents the UML faction, and party executive chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal representing the former Maoist faction have been planning to pick leaders loyal to them for the speaker’s post.

The Maoist faction has been mounting pressure on both Oli and Dahal to pick the candidate from the former Maoist side stating that the position was allotted to the same faction during Mahara’s appointment in 2018.

NCP’s deputy party parliamentary leader Subhash Nembang has been seen as the frontrunner for the post of House speaker.

Agni Prasad Sapkota, Haribol Gajurel, Dev Gurung and Pampha Bhusal are also in the fray from the Maoist side for the speaker’s position.

Similarly, Deputy Speaker Shivamaya Tumbahamphe has been claiming the position.  NCP has asked her to resign from the position of deputy speaker because the constitution does not allow the same political party to have both the positions of speaker and deputy speaker.