Wednesday, 8 February, 2023
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Four years of Karnali Province Assembly: Rarest practice in parliamentary system 



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By Prakash Adhikari, Karnali, Feb 5: Amid the political turmoil, the Karnali Province Assembly completed the 4th year of its establishment on last Friday. The provincial assembly observed the establishment day with a week-long celebration.    

The provincial assembly played a notable role in the formulation of new laws, monitoring of the government and public works and keeping vigilance in the initial years of its establishment. The first assembly succeeded in determining the province’s name and its capital, becoming the first among the six other provinces.    

While the province got its name ‘Karnali’ and Birendranagar in Surkhet was declared provincial capital, other provinces were being named after numbers until recently. The leadership in Karnali Province earned widespread accolades for such prompt actions.    

The province thereafter began to formulate the laws needed to implement the constitution. A total of 36 laws were formulated during three years. Many of the laws could not be tabled in the provincial assembly in lack of federal laws. Some laws in the Karnali Province were amended while none of the laws could be endorsed in the provincial assembly last year.    

Power struggle in the government and shuffle and change in the government impacted the regular function of the government and province assembly here. The provincial government then began to summon province assembly sessions only to avert the constitutional crisis.    

Speaker Raj Bahadur Shahi said instability in central politics had adversely affected the Karnali Province. “The central political leadership tried to disrupt the smooth atmosphere here where delivery was fairly well,” said Shahi.    

According to him, the provincial assembly in the Karnali Province also suffered stalemate due to the effect of political instability in the central politics. He blamed that the government also delayed in summoning the province assembly session.    

The constitution mandates that the duration between two sessions should not exceed six months. Another session should be called for within six months of the end of one session.    

A wrong trend was seen in the Karnali Province lately. The province assembly session would be summoned only at the eleventh hour and it would be ended after some meetings.    

Speaker Shahi viewed due to such a trend, the provincial government did not give the assembly adequate business and the government had to take help from ordinances instead of formulating new laws.    

The Karnali Province also saw a change in the government due to the effects of the power equation in central politics in the last year. The Karnali Province Assembly witnessed the rarest practices in the parliamentary system such as tabling the no-confidence motion against own the party’s leader and crossing the floor against the party’s whip.    

While voting on the proposal of the no-confidence motion against Mahendra Bahadur Shahi, the then CM of Karnali Province, representing CPN (Maoist Centre), four CPN (UML) province assembly members had voted in favour of Shahi against party’s whip.