Kathmandu, May 11: For the first time in Nepal’s history, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara has directed the Parliament Secretariat to delete from parliamentary records “inappropriate words” used by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli during Tuesday’s session of the House of Representatives.
This is the first time such a decision has been taken against an incumbent prime minister, according to former speaker Daman Nath Dhungana, constitutional experts as well as senior lawmakers, Laxman Lal Karna and Radhe Shyam Adhikari, and Parliament Secretariat officials.
“Inappropriate words used by lawmakers have been removed from the records in the past. But as far as I know speakers have never instructed the Parliament Secretariat to delete words used by the prime minister,” said Dhungana, according to a report published in The Himalayan Times on Saturday.Mahara had referred to the House of Representatives Regulation to take Fridays’ decision.
The regulation allows the speaker to take an independent decision on matters that tend to undermine the dignity of the Parliament.The speaker took the decision two days after Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba called Mahara the most ‘coward’ speaker in Nepal’s parliamentary history, as “he could not muster courage to delete from records the demeaning language used by PM Oli in the House”.
Mahara has previously faced accusation of taking the ruling party’s side when the National Medical Education Bill was bulldozed through the Parliament despite warnings from the NC that the legislative document contained controversial provisions.
“Mahara today made a concerted effort to resolve the conflict between ruling and opposition parties by deciding to delete the inappropriate words. If the speaker had failed to take any action, the opposition would have created chaos in the Parliament,” said Dhungana on Friday.
While issuing today’s directive, Mahara also said that “inappropriate words” used by opposition NC lawmakers during Tuesday’s House session would also be deleted.
Tensions had flared between lawmakers of ruling and opposition parties during Tuesday’s House session after PM Oli said he would not respond to parliamentarians’ queries “that are petty and motivated by resentment and frustration”.The PM’s statement had offended many NC lawmakers.
They had asked the speaker to delete those words from the records then and there. But Mahara did not agree. At that time, he only said, “My attention has been drawn by your statement.But, for now, let the PM say what he has to say.”The decision taken by Mahara, however, will not exert pressure on Oli to take moral responsibility for the remarks he made, according to NC lawmaker and constitutional expert Adhikari. (UNI)