Kathmandu, July 18 : A joint meeting of both the houses of parliament is taking place today. On the recommendation of the government, President Bidya Devi Bhandari has summoned the joint session of the federal parliament for 4:00 pm today.
This is the first meeting of the House of Representatives after it was reinstated by a Supreme Court order. Dissolved twice by the erstwhile government, it has been reinstated on both the occasion, after the decision was challenged in the apex court of the country.
The business advisory committee of the parliament is meeting later today to determine the agenda of the session. However, the first meeting is likely to be limited to reading out the letter from the President about the summoning of the parliamentary session and new government formation, and naming of the members who would chair the meeting in the absence of the Speaker.
Furthermore, condolence motions will be passed over the demise of former Members of Parliament.
Apart from the significant business of deciding on a vote of confidence to newly appointed Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, the parliament has 55 bills that are in various phases of consideration to be addressed. This includes the very contentious and significant bill on citizenship as well as the federal civil service bill.
Talking to RSS, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and government spokesperson Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said that the government will conduct itself in the parliament with consensus of all and by taking all sides into confidence.
Meanwhile, the main opposition CPN-UML has decided to raise the court decision that led to formation of the current government seriously in the house. UML parliamentary party deputy leader Subas Nembang told RSS that as the court decision has invited challenges and difficulties, it will be seriously raised in the parliament.
Despite winning a clear majority in the 2017 general elections and ruling the country for three and a half years, the CPN-UML will now be sitting in the main opposition bench in the parliament. The developments that followed since the division in the Nepal Communist Party, made up of CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) and intra-party dispute in the CPN-UML confines the UML to the role of main opposition despite enjoying a fair share of members of parliament in the House of Representatives.
The HoR is currently composed of 121 CPN-UML, 63 Nepali Congress, 49 CPN (Maoist Centre) and 34 Janata Samajbadi Party members of parliament. Nepal Majdoor Kissan Party, Rastriya Janamorcha and Rastriya Prajatantra Party have one MP each while one MP is independent.
Meanwhile, all preparations for the historical joint session of the parliament have been completed, including the enforcement of the health protocol considering the continued risk of COVID-19 infection, said federal parliament secretariat spokesperson Dr Rojnath Pandey. An antigen test for COVID-19 was carried out for the members of parliament attending the meeting today.