President Bhandari Reissues Controversial Ordinance Sparking Opposition

News Politics

Constitutional Council meeting in progress in Kathmandu on Tuesday. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and attended by Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana and National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Prasad Timilsina. Photo: RSS

December 16, 2020/Kathmandu-

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has reissued the controversial ordinance amending Constitutional Council Act, sparking opposition.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, issued the Constitutional Council (Functions, Duties, Powers and Procedures) Act, First Amendment Ordinance, amending the act’s provision to allow the Constitutional Council to conduct its meetings when majority members of the council are present.

The government brought the new ordinance to amend Section 6 (3) of the act that stipulated that quorum for the council could be achieved only when chairperson and four other members were present in the meeting.

The meeting headed by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was attended by Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana and National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Prasad Timilsina.

The was earlier called in the morning and had to be postponed till 5:00pm Tuesday evening after Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota didn’t turn up.

The PM had called the Constitutional Council meeting on Sunday also, but was postponed after opposition party Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba and speaker Sapkota remained absent.

The new ordinance would enable the Constitutional Council to achieve quorum if three members, including the chairperson, and decision could be taken upon consent of just two members.

Intellectuals and a major fraction within the ruling NCP itself are unsatisfied about the ordinance provision.

The cadres close to NCP executive Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, Bamdev Gautam and Jhalanath Khanal within the party including the leaders have expressed dissatisfaction over the move.

The council is chaired by the prime minister, with chief justice, speaker, deputy speaker, national assembly chair and leader of the opposition as its members.

The president had issued the same ordinance amending Constitution Council Act in April as well.