RPP-Nepal becomes the only party against republic; some lawyers question procedures adopted by CA

Source: nepalnews.com
May 29, 2008

The Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP-Nepal) has become the only party that voted against the proposal of implementing the declaration of republic.

When the proposal was put forth for voting, of the 564 members of CA present at the meeting, 560 voted in its favour while four members of RPP-N voted against it.

Although the chairman of the assembly Kul Bahadur Gurung did not allow the RPP-N members to make their case before the voting, its member Chandra Bahadur Gurung later submitted note of dissent expressing dissatisfaction over the republic declaration.

"Though we are aware of the culture of functioning like a robot through remote-control, we have decided to register our note of dissent for the record for the posterity," said Gurung.

Gurung could not complete reading his party's statement as the assembly chair barred him from speaking after the allotted two minutes.

Speaking at the post-voting discussion, chief of Rastriya Jana Morcha, Chitra Bahadur KC, expressed dissatisfaction over the move to turn Nepal into federal state.

Meanwhile, some lawyers have pointed at the flaws in the procedures adopted by the CA during its first meeting.

According to a constitutional lawyer Bipin Adhikari, the procedures followed by the Constituent Assembly had three serious flaws.

"First, the House started its proceedings without the 26 nominated members, who should have been present in the House to fulfill the membership requirement of the Assembly under Article 63(3) of the Constitution. The President of the House ignored this requirement, because the Prime Minister was not able to nominate them in consultation with the parties before the meeting kicked off," said Adhikari, who added that this flaw would make the proceedings of an incomplete House open to challenge.

"Secondly, the motion to abolish monarchy and operationalize Article 159 was not subjected to discussion before the voting on it according to the recognized parliamentary practice. The chair ignored the repeated requests by the opposition group of the RPP-Nepal, the only monarchist voice in the entire Assembly, to allow discussion on the motion, so that they could register their opposition before the voting," he said, adding, "Thirdly, and lastly, the implementation of the 'republicanisation plan' was done without any statutory basis, and certainly without giving any opportunity to the King to explain his case before the sovereign House."

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