A Good Beginning

Business in the parliament resumed the other day ending almost 40 days of obstruction created by the nine opposition parties led by the CPN-UML. These opposition parties were disrupting the parliament meeting since the registration of the constitution amendment proposal on November 29, 2016. Tabling of the amendment bill by Minister for Law Ajay Shankar Nayak in the second meeting of the parliament Sunday paved the way for the smooth functioning of the parliament. The nine opposition parties had disrupted the meeting for about 40 days to obstruct the passage of the same bill. Now with the bill becoming an agenda of the meeting in the parliament, its fate will be decided through voting. The UML and other fringe opposition parties have termed the amendment bill as anti-national and unconstitutional right from the next day it was registered in the parliament. In the beginning, the opposition parties protested against the bill both in the streets and the parliament, but later their protest was limited only in the parliament. Due to the continued obstruction, the parliament was unable to function. As a result, it was getting delayed to prepare required laws relating to elections, which should be held in the next 13 months. Indeed, elections of the local bodies, and provincial and federal parliaments should be conducted to ensure the implementation of the constitution promulgated in September last year. However, due to the differences among the parties over the amendment bill, drafting and endorsing the election bills were pending. Now with the resumption of the parliamentary proceedings, it is expected that the House will be able to prepare and pass all laws required to hold the three-tier elections. Even on the first day of the resumption of meetings, the parliament endorsed two important proposals relating to two separate bills on elections.

With the resumption of the meeting, the parliament needs to speed up its works, especially in preparing laws relating to elections so that all elections could be held within January 21, 2018. It should make up the crucial 40 days wasted due to obstruction created by the opposition parties, by endorsing the laws required for holding the polls soon. Besides deciding the fate of the amendment bill through voting, there are other issues including the impeachment motion against the sacked chief of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, which the parliament has to finalise.  Above all, the political parties representing the parliament need to forge consensus so that not only the parliament can function smoothly but also important bills like the constitution amendment proposal will be sorted out in unison. Growing division and differences among the political parties will make it difficult to endorse any important bill considering the nature of the present hung parliament.  If the parties do not forge consensus and keep on obstructing the passage of the bills, the present parliament will not be able to accomplish the tasks during its tenure. This means, all the achievements made through the political movement of 2006 cannot be safeguarded.  Hence, resumption of the parliament meeting should be taken as a beginning point towards safeguarding the epoch-making political achievements.

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