Speaker Mahara resigns amid allegation of sexual harassment


KATHMANDU, Oct 1: Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara has stepped down from the position on Tuesday amid allegation of sexual harassment.

A female employee at the Parliament Secretariat accused him of sexually misconducting her at her rented apartment in Tinkune on Monday evening.

After the parliament staffer reported the police about the incident, a team of Metropolitan Police had reached at her apartment at around 9 pm in the evening.

“She was drunk and had a little bruise on her cheek,” said the police who had reached the incident site.

“But Speaker Mahara had already left the apartment according to her.”

“She then showed a broken glasses which she claimed belonged to Mahara”.

The police then left the apartment asking her to file a case against Mahara on Tuesday. However, no cases have been registered yet, according to the police.

The “victim” has been “out of contact” since the incident.

The police have collected bottles, broken glass, clothes as evidence to probe into the incident.

According to the police, they are also examining the CCTV footage.

According to reports, the female staffer had called Member of Parliament Uma Regmi complaining about the sexual assault from the Speaker.

“She called and told me she was raped. I could not believe it. When I asked her if she had proof, she told me she was beaten when she tried to fight back and had no proof of the incident,” Regmi told online news portal Onlinekhabar.

Later in the evening, Mahara’s secretariat issued a statement claiming the accusations are baseless and aimed to malign the character of the Speaker.

“The reports about the serious allegation of misconduct from the Speaker has stunned us. We express our objection to the fabricated and baseless accusations and request one and all not to run after the fallacious rumors,” reads the statement issued by the Speakers’ Press Advisor Dilli Malla.

“As stated in the news, it can not be even imagined that the Speaker has conducted such misconduct. We inform all the media and journalists that Sunday’s incident is aimed at defaming the character of the Speaker.”

Mahara tendered his resignation to Deputy-speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe on Monday after consulting with Prime Minister and ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Chair K P Shama Oli and another Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

A meeting of the NCP Secretariat had also suggested Mahara to resign from the post.

“In order to ease the free and fair investigation into the accusations and reports on media targeted to attack my character, I hereby tender my resignation on moral grounds until the investigation concludes,” the resignation paper of Mahara reads.