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Important Bills pending in absence of Speaker



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By Ranju Kafle

Kathmandu, Nov. 14: Five Bills are pending in the Federal Parliament in the absence of the Speaker.
The Speaker is needed to certify the Bills, amendments and Acts endorsed by the Parliament before the President authenticates them. The House of Representatives needs to wait for a few more weeks, if not months, to get the new Speaker.
Important Bills related to land, industrial enterprise, national ID card, police adjustment and State and Federal Police are awaiting certification, according to Parliament Secretariat.
The post of the Speaker has been lying vacant since former speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara resigned over a rape allegation. Mahara is in prison following the order of the Kathmandu District Court.
The fourth session of the Parliament prorogued on September 19. As the Speaker resigned a few days later, the House session is yet to be summoned. According to Rojnath Pandey, spokesperson of the Secretariat of the Federal Parliament, at least 60 days’ gap is needed to summon the next session of the House.
“If the government does not feel the House session is urgent, there will be a gap of three to four months between the sessions,” he said. The President summons the House on the recommendation of the government, he added.
According to the Constitution, Speaker and Deputy Speaker are elected by the members of the House of Representatives, which has 275 members. Again the Speaker and Deputy Speaker should be from different parties and one of them should be female.
The Constitution has not given any authority to the Deputy Speaker to certify the bills and acts. Deputy Speaker can only chair the House meeting in absence of the Speaker.
Kashiraj Dahal, constitutional expert, said that early appointment of the Speaker was essential now. “The government should appoint the Speaker as soon as possible,” he added.
Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe said that the absence of the Speaker had not created any obstruction as there was no House session now.
“Once the House session begins, the new Speaker will be elected within 15 days,” she added.