Parliament meeting postponed; SC stays govt decision to add local units

Supreme CourtKathmandu / May 26: The Parliament meeting called for Friday morning has been put off till Saturday due to the obstruction of the CPN-UML parliamentarians.

The meeting scheduled for 11:00 am was postponed till 4:00 pm on Friday itself.
As soon as the second meeting began, Chief Whip of UML Bhanubhakta Dhakal stood up from his seat and warned that they would not let the House resume unless their demands were addressed.

The next meeting of the Parliament is scheduled for tomorrow at 1:00 pm.

Chief Whip Dhakal said, “Until the government withdraws the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice Sushila Karki, voices its opinion publicly for forming a parliamentary committee to examine the irregularities reported in the first phase of local level election and withdraws its decision to increase the number of local levels in a dozen of Terai districts among others, they will not let the parliament meeting be held.”

Speaker Gharti said the demands of the UML had come to her notice, and requested the protesting parliamentarians to be seated but to no avail.

Gharti also shared that the holding parliament meeting was a constitutional obligation to extend thanks to President Bidya Devi Bhandari who on Thursday presented government’s policy and programmes for the upcoming fiscal year 2017/2018.
Furthermore, she informed that the budget for the next fiscal year could not be brought until the government’s policy and programmes for the same fiscal year were endorsed by the parliament.

The parliamentarians were reminded that it was the constitutional provision to announce budget on 15th of Jestha.

Since UML parliamentarians continued the obstruction of the meeting, the Speaker announced the postponement of the parliament meeting till tomorrow.

The major parties albeit were in deliberations for opening the interrupted parliament session, no conclusion was made towards this end.

SC stays govt decision to add local units
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday issued an interim order to the government not to execute the decision to increase the number of local units.

A division bench of Justices Ishwar Khatiwada and Sapana Malla Pradhan ordered the government to put the government decision on hold stating that the Article 295 of the constitution envisage a commission for fixing the number of local units and the government has taken the decision and published it on the Gazette.

Responding to the writ petition filed by Dhan Bahadur Shrestha, the division issued the stay order. The government earlier had taken the decision to add 22 local units in 19 districts of Tarai and decided to uplift Birgunj and Biratnagar as metropolitan cities.

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