Deputy Speaker Tumbahamphe likely to resign, to be replaced by ‘third party’ candidate

Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe

Kathmandu, December 11

Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe is likely to tender her resignation to pave the way for a fellow party comrade to take charge of the lower house of Parliament, NCP sources say adding that her successor will come from a party other than the NCP and the Nepali Congress.

This comes as leaders of the ruling NCP intensify discussions ahead of the December 20 commencement of the winter session of Parliament. According to party sources, Prime Minister Oli and NCP Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal are to meet to pick the new Speaker of the House, two months after Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara stepped down amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Although Tumbahamphe has agreed in principle to step down, it is not yet clear whether she will step down before the December 20 meeting or after announcing elections for Speaker. An NCP source said that the leadership wants Tumbahamphe to resign ahead of the meeting so that the senior-most MP can chair the meeting.

Nembang, Sapkota in the fray 

According to party sources, former Speaker Subas Nembang and former Minister Agni Sapkota are the front runners for the post. NCP Chief Whip Dev Gurung and Tumbahamphe are also in contention. The NCP leadership, however, wants a member of the party Standing Committee to take charge of Parliament. PM Oli is in favour of  Nembang as he has vast experience running Parliament. The Oli camp anticipates that the Dahal camp will propose Sapkota for the job.

Meanwhile, the NCP is likely to offer the post of Deputy Speaker to the fringe parties as the constitution states that the Deputy Speaker and the Speaker should not only be aligned to different parties, but also belong to different genders. As the Deputy Speaker is also a member of the Constitutional Council, which makes appointments to key constitutional bodies, the NCP does not want to hand over the post to the Nepali Congress.

Rastriya Janamorcha’s Durga Paudel is being seen as the front runner for the position as the party has a good track-record of electoral alliances with the NCP.  Baburam Bhattarai’s Socialist Party is also likely to stake a claim for the post, but the party’s ties with the NCP have soured in the past few weeks is not going to help the cause.

Published on December 11th, Wednesday, 2019 12:57 PM

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