Parliament Secretariat to arrange separate hall for Covid-19 positive lawmakers for voting on Oli’s confidence motionAs many as 26 lawmakers have been infected with coronavirus. Officials say everyone has to present their PCR tests to enter the House.
A separate hall would be arranged for those lawmakers who have tested Covid-19 positive for voting on Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli confidence motion, the Parliament Secretariat said on Sunday.
Oli has sought a confidence vote in Parliament on Monday.
A little over two dozen members of the House of Representatives have tested positive for the coronavirus, which has been sickening more than 8,000 people every day in the country for the past few days.
A meeting of the Business Advisory Committee led by Speaker Agni Sapkota on Sunday decided to make arrangements for the Covid-19 positive lawmakers for the voting.
“They, however, will not be allowed to participate in other house proceedings,” Gopal Nath Yogi, secretary of the House of Representatives, told the Post. “It is mandatory for all the lawmakers to produce their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) report at the entrance gate of the Parliament building.”
Of the 26 lawmakers, including two ministers in the Oli government, who tested positive for the coronavirus as of Saturday, 14 are from the ruling CPN-UML.
Prior to the voting, Oli will move his vote of confidence motion before the House. Voting will take place after lawmakers deliberate on the motion.
Almost two months after the Supreme Court revived the UML and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), Oli on May 2 said that he would go for a floor test on May 10. Accordingly, President Bidya Devi Bhandari summoned the House session for that day.
The Maoist Centre, which had not withdrawn its support, on May 5 announced that it was pulling out its support from the government. Oli was elected prime minister in February 2018 with the Maoist Centre’s support as per Article 76 (2) of the constitution.
The UML and the Maoist Centre had united to form the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) in May 2018. But the Supreme Court on March 7 invalidated the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and resurrected the UML and the Maoist Centre.
The Maoist Centre had been arguing that since the two parties were brought to their pre-merger stage, Oli needed to seek a vote of confidence. Oli refused to do so. The Maoist Centre’s support to Oli continued, even though it sacked four of his lawmakers who are ministers in the Oli Cabinet after they defied party orders.
Of the 205 lawmakers on whom PCR tests were performed for three days starting on Wednesday the results of 18 had come back positive. Eighth others were found to have been infected in separate tests.
Yogi said the lawmakers who were not present during the tests conducted by the Parliament Secretariat must get tested.
“Lawmakers without PCR reports will not be allowed to participate in the House proceedings,” said Yogi. “We cannot deprive anyone of voting. We hope all will bring their PCR reports, or else, we might have to arrange another hall for them.”