Sapkota: The fate of no-confidence motion against Oli depends on the party that registered itThe House speaker on Supreme Court verdict, how the parliamentary process will move ahead, his relations with Prime Minister Oli and his petition in the court.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s December 20 decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and ordered authorities to call a House meeting within 13 days–by March 8. Speaker Agni Sapkota, who comes from the former CPN (Maoist Centre), had vehemently objected to House dissolution. Sapkota had even issued a statement urging political parties, civil society and the general public to stand against the House dissolution which he called an unconstitutional move. The Post’s Binod Ghimire spoke to Sapkota to talk about the court decision, how the Parliament process will move forward and other scenarios after the House was reinstated.
The interview has been condensed for brevity.
What is your response to the verdict? Is it as per your anticipation?
The Supreme Court has corrected the unconstitutional move. The constitution has prevailed. The voice against the dissolution got stronger by the day. Most of the political parties, civil society and a majority of the people stood against the dissolution claiming it was an unconstitutional move. The advocates from the plaintiff side made powerful arguments to prove how it was unconstitutional. We rarely have seen such a unity for a cause in our history. The overwhelming support against the dissolution had given a hope that the House will be reinstated. And it did.
So how will the parliamentary process move ahead now?
The Supreme Court’s verdict has brought Parliament prior to the situation of December 20. Giving a deadline to call the House session was another remarkable part of the verdict. Now the President, as per the recommendation of the government, will call the House session and it will get back into business. The Speaker and the Parliament Secretariat will play the role of facilitator. The course of Parliament will be determined by the parties.
What will be the fate of the no-confidence motion registered by the Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal faction of the Nepal Communist Party?
It has been registered in the Parliament Secretariat. The motion’s fate depends on the party that registered it.
Do you mean the two factions of the ruling party could come with a unanimous voice when Parliament session resumes?
Anything is possible. The House proceedings will depend on the move of the parties in the House, not the Parliament Secretariat.
The defending lawyers said your non-cooperation towards the government was one of the prompting factors for the prime minister to dissolve the House. What’s your take on this?
The claim is fallacious. The House has always supported the government. I believe the House in my tenure was the most cooperative towards the government. Even the cross-party lawmakers including from the opposition were cooperative. There was not a single incident of protest in the well of Parliament. The House showed exceptional unity when it endorsed the second constitution amendment bill tabled by the government to adjust the national map depicting Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura. The Parliament Secretariat has called the House meeting on Saturday to allow the prime minister to present his views. These series of events prove how supportive Parliament has been all along.
But the two houses of Parliament seem to be divided. You and the National Assembly chair have taken opposite positions on some issues. Won’t it affect the federal parliament to work in coordination?
We merely expressed our respective positions on those issues. There is nothing personal. We enjoy a cordial relationship. Both houses have worked in close coordination in the past and will maintain the same mutuality in the future.