Speaker orders removal of PM’s controversial words from record

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KATHMANDU, May 11: Probably for the first time in Nepali parliamentary history, the the speaker on Friday ordered removal of the prime minister’s controversial words from the House record.

Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara ordered removal of ‘non-parliamentary words’ used in the statements of Prime Minister KP Oli as well as lawmakers during deliberations earlier this week on the government policy and program in the House.

Main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) lawmakers had demanded removal of the ‘demeaning remarks’ of Prime Minister Oli, who had accused the opposition lawmakers of asking illogical queries. After Speaker Mahara declined to remove the controversial words immediately, opposition lawmakers resorted to House obstruction. Mahara had said that he noted the objection of the opposition lawmakers as NC lawmakers obstructed the House meeting on Tuesday.

But opposition lawmakers vented ire against the speaker for not following the tradition of removing controversial words immediately after lawmakers registered their objections.

“I direct the parliament secretariat to erase the words that are against the decorum of parliament used by the prime minister while responding to the queries from the members of parliamentarians during the deliberations on government policy and program,” Mahara said on Friday at the commencement of the House meeting.

When asked what words will be removed from the House record, Speaker Mahara said the parliament secretariat will go through the recording and make appropriate decision.

Former secretary of the parliament secretariat Som Bahadur Thapa said that this will be the first time that a statement of the prime minister will be removed from the parliament records. “In my knowledge, this decision to remove the words used by a prime minister is first in Nepali parliamentary history. There are multiple instances of the parliament removing remarks from its record,” Thapa, who retired recently after 25-year service in parliament, told Republica.

Any lawmaker can register their objection to the use of non-parliamentary words immediately in the House and speaker should decide about it based on the parliamentary regulations. In a rare instance inside parliament, Mahara on Tuesday had continued with House business amid the obstructions and objection from the main opposition party.

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