‘BEST FOR THE PARTY IF IT ELECTS ME AS SPEAKER’
KATHMANDU, Jan 13: Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe has argued that a political party cannot instruct a deputy speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) to step down from the position since the constitution does not allow it.
Her remark comes after a secretariat meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) urged her to resign and pave way for the election of a new Speaker.
But Tumbahamphe said she has no obligation to follow the instruction of the party when the position of the Speaker is vacant.
“A political party cannot instruct the deputy speaker to resign because the Constitution does not allow it. The HoR and a political party are different organizations. The HoR runs as per the spirit of the constitution while a political party runs as per its statute.”
“Therefore, it is not necessary for me to follow the instruction of a party.”
“Moreover, the NCP has not yet figured out how to move forward even though any candidate it selects will be elected evidently. But, I don’t see that my resignation will give an outlet to the present circumstances,” said Tumbahamphe.
“And as a deputy speaker, it is my duty not to empty the leadership of the HoR when the Speaker’s post is vacant. It is, therefore, I will tender my resignation after the process for the election of the Speaker begins.”
Tumbahamphe was summoned by the party’s chairpersons K P Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal for the second time on Sunday.
“I have asked the chiefs of the ruling party to give way out to the federal parliament as the NCP has the majority. For that, the party must finalize its candidate first.”
“Since we have a multi-party democracy and as I was elected by a political party, I should listen to what the party says. But, if I vacate the leadership, who will lead the parliament.”
‘PARLIAMENTARY REGULATION NOT ABOVE THE CONSTITUTION’
When enquired about the parliamentary regulation that states that the speaker begins and ends the HoR meeting, she said: “Obviously, they did not pay attention to the constitution while drafting the regulation. The regulation stops me from chairing the HoR meeting but Article 91 (4) of the constitution states that the Deputy Speaker shall, in the absence of the Speaker, chair the House of Representatives.”
“The regulation is not above the constitution.”
She denied that her reluctance to resign has created an impasse for the Speaker’s election, three months after the resignation of Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara following an attempted rape allegation by a parliament staffer.
“I am not an obstacle. The HoR has not got a speaker because the party has failed to choose a candidate. If they think I am a hurdle because I act as per the spirit of the constitution… then yes I am.”
She also said it is her claim for the position since she has the right and is a qualified person for the post.
“Our practice is upgrading a deputy to a higher position. Therefore, I have claimed the position.
“And it will be best if the party chooses me as its candidate.”
She also ruled out the reports that the prime minister has promised her the position of law minister if she steps down as deputy speaker.
“No, I have not been offered the position of a minister by prime minister or a political leader.”