Supreme Court of Nepal/File photo.
KATHMANDU: The Koshi Province government has responded in writing to the Supreme Court, defending Chief Minister Uddhav Thapa’s recent vote of confidence.
The government argues that the action adheres to Article 188 of the Constitution, which permits the presiding lawmaker of the assembly to participate in voting. This contrasts with Article 186, the basis of CPN-UML party’s challenge, which does not allow the presiding lawmaker to vote.
On August 21, Chief Minister Thapa secured a vote of confidence after Deputy Speaker Srijana Danuwar’s absence led to Israel Mansuri, a Nepali Congress (NC) lawmaker, presiding over the session. This prompted a legal challenge from UML leader Hikmat Karki.
Justice Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada ruled that Thapa’s vote of confidence didn’t align with the Constitution and advised against consequential decisions. The government’s formal response was submitted this Wednesday, and the case will be fully heard from September 1.
Thapa’s response to the Supreme Court argued that Article 186 doesn’t apply due to differing majorities. The government counters that Article 188 is applicable, requiring a majority of the entire Provincial Assembly’s members.
Article 186 stipulates decisions based on the majority of present members, while Article 188 details a comprehensive process for votes of confidence and no-confidence motions. The government’s stand is that Article 186’s majority of present members does not pertain to a vote of confidence.
Article 188 allows the Chief Minister to seek a vote of confidence to confirm the Assembly’s support, and outlines a process if supporting parties divide or withdraw. The government’s stance is that Thapa’s vote adheres to this article’s provisions.