Fringe parties, independent lawmakers complain of negligence in parliament


May 28, 2023


Fringe parties, independent lawmakers complain of negligence in parliament

Image for Representation. (File photo)

KATHMANDU: Lawmakers have complained that the draft of the Federal Parliament Joint Meeting and Joint Committee Regulations has neglected the small parties and the independent legislators in the Parliament.

They expressed this view in the course of the clause-wise deliberations on the draft report (with amendments) of the Business Operations Regulations of the Joint Committee of the Federal Parliament-2080 BS in the joint sitting of both houses of parliament today.

Lawmaker Khim Lal Devkota viewed that the Regulation needed to be amended as it was being brought in a way to bypass the small parties and independent lawmakers in parliament.

“The draft of the Regulation has come in such a form that it overlooks the independent lawmakers and the smaller parties. It does not take into account the National Assembly as well. This revised regulation should have been better than its previous version, but I don’t see that,” he commented.

Lawmaker Devkota also suggested amending the Rule 26 of the Regulation, saying it has retained the same provision as in the previous regulation which goes something like the appointment of office-bearers of the Constitutional Council would automatically be endorsed without the parliamentary hearing.

He contended that this provision of the regulation that the office-bearers of the Constitutional Council can also be appointed without hearing has made our governance system weak.

“This provision was the most-discussed one in the past. It seems the parties have not paid attention to this weakness at present,” Devkota said, adding that the parliamentary activities should be carried out in such a manner that they reflect the effectiveness of the implementation of federalism.

Lawmaker Amaresh Kumar Singh demanded that the opinion of all individuals and ideologies should be represented in parliament. He said the ‘big parties’ in parliament sometimes barred raising parliament issues like the government’s presence and providing services and facilities to the people as if it is only their ‘monopoly’ on these issues.

“The parliament is not just the venue to represent people on the basis of a number. It is indeed the place for the representation and recognition of people’s opinions, ideas, and needs. I know pretty well how political parties prevent their lawmakers from telling the truth before the House. The situation makes us the representatives of parties not of the people,” he said. He sought the representation of all ideologies while forming parliamentary committees.

Putting an amendment proposal over the regulations draft report, Jitendra Narayan Dev the proposal presented on behalf of all members in the National Assembly aimed to make the document more democratic, and inclusive, serving the spirit of the Constitution to the highest level.

“Federal Parliament is the integrated form of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly and the regulations be applicable to the entire business operations of the House,” he said, adding the participation of the 12:3 ratio in the Parliamentary Hearing Committee is not mathematically appropriate. “That is not appropriate politically and in terms of cluster-wise, too. He presented an idea of an 11: 4 ratio in the Committee.”

He was of the view that chairing the joint sessions of the Federal Parliament by the NA Chairperson and the Speaker on a rotational basis would send a message that both assemblies in the bi-cameral parliament are of equal importance. This provision should be incorporated in the regulations, too, he asserted.

Prabhu Shah said the provisions relating to the draft committee failed to recognize the issues of small parties.