The House of Representatives (HoR) was adjourned on Tuesday following obstruction by the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC).
Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli, who returned from Europe on Sunday, was to speak about contemporary issues including the guthi bill at 11 Tuesday morning but the meeting started an hour later after Nepali Congress (NC) demanded that the main opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba be allowed to speak first.
PM Oli was scheduled to address the issue of guthi bill in the parliament at 11 Tuesday morning. But NC lawmakers met Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara and requested that Deuba be allowed to speak first.
NC lawmakers encircled the rostrum immediately after PM Oli reached there as Deuba was not allowed to speak first, and started to chant slogans.
Speaker Mahara repeatedly urged the NC lawmakers to hear what PM Oli has to say first and assured that Deuba will be allowed to speak after that but to no avail. They insisted that Deuba be allowed to address first.
Speaker Mahara then adjourned the House until Wednesday.
PM and the main opposition leader can speak in the parliament whenever they wish and there is no time limit for them. The speaker has to decide who will speak when.
NC chief whip Bal Krishna Khand blamed Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara for the ruckus. “We had met with speaker in the morning and requested time for Deuba to speak and he had agreed,” he added. He faulted Speaker Mahara’s management saying he should have told PM Oli about NC’s demand and prepared the business schedule accordingly.
He argued that the main opposition leader should get to speak first as the PM can answer the questions raised by the opposition. “Speaker had agreed that the main opposition leader will speak first and PM Oli will speak after a break. But PM apparently said he will speak first and we obstructed the House,” he elaborated. “The opposition should get to speak in the House.”
He pointed that the main opposition leader would have spoken about the bills of media, guthis, information technology, national security, and other contemporary issues, and the PM could have responded to the questions.
He resorted to whataboutery claiming how PM Oli has already violated parliamentary decorum using unbecoming words when pointed that a democratic and pro-parliamentary party like NC has stopped the PM from speaking in the parliament.
Deputy parliamentary party leader of the ruling CPN Subas Chandra Nembang has called the stance of NC that the main opposition leader should get to speak before the PM against parliamentary decorum. “There is no tradition of the main opposition leader getting to speak before the PM,” he claimed.”The PM is top on protocol from all aspects. Speech by the PM represents the government’s views.”
He called the obstruction despite assurances from the speaker to allow the main opposition leader to speak after the PM unfortunate. “PM was not allowed to speak when he went to speak. He had to keep standing on the rostrum,” he said. “We all should think seriously about where this is leading us to.”