Nepal's ruling party remains undecided over new House Speaker

ANI Kathmandu, Nepal Jan 12, 2020, 11.22 AM(IST)

File photo: Nepal flag Photograph:( ANI )

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This time the election for the Speaker is seen with much caution because of the constitutional provision which demands Speaker and Deputy Speaker to be representatives from different party and gender.

The Central Committee Meeting of the ruling party - Communist Party of Nepal on Saturday evening decided to ask Deputy Speaker Dr. Shivamaya Tumbahamphe to step down from the post.

However, the meeting remained indecisive over who would be the House Speaker after the resignation of Krishna Bahadur Mahara following the accusation of attempted rape.

"NCP has decided to stand in the fray for the post of House Speaker for which we will be asking Deputy Speaker Shivamaya Tumbahamphe to step down clearing up the way forward," Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Spokesperson of the ruling party NCP told reporters in brief.

Shrestha did not mention about who will succeed over the post of House Speaker which has remained vacant for nearly three months.

Deputy Speaker Tumbahamphe, on the other hand, has vowed to remain on the post ruling out any chance of resignation and is determined to chair the parliamentary meeting called for January 12.

"I will preside tomorrow's parliamentary meeting as Deputy House Speaker. I will not resign from the post and I am not aware of the decision made by the Central Committee," Deputy House Speaker Tumbahamphe told ANI over the phone when asked about her response to the decision made by Central Committee Meeting held at Baluwatar on Saturday.

This time the election for the Speaker is seen with much caution because of the constitutional provision which demands Speaker and Deputy Speaker to be representatives from different party and gender.

"The election under clause (1) shall be so held that there is one woman as either Speaker or Deputy Speaker, and the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be representatives from different parties," states the constitution.

Outgoing speaker Mahara represented the then CPN (Maoist Center) and the current deputy speaker, Shivamaya Tumbahamphe, was from the former CPN-UML at the time of their election.

Later, the two parties were merged to form the NCP.

But the ruling party refused to make any changes to the two posts, arguing that they were no longer with any party as they had already resigned their party positions immediately after being elected speaker and deputy speaker.