Wednesday Jul 6, 2022
Wednesday Jul 6, 2022

Lawmakers cannot support members of other parties for PM’s post, says Pandey

2021 Jun 29, 15:01, Kathmandu
This image shows the main entrance of the building of the Office of the Attorney General in Ram Shah Path, Kathmandu in August 2018. Photo courtesy: Bijayaraj Ghimire

Deputy Attorney General Padam Prasad Pandey has said that no lawmaker from any political party can personally support the leader of another party for the post of the prime minister.

While placing his arguments during the hearing on the writ petitions filed against the dissolution of the House of Representatives before the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court today, Pandey reiterated that an elected representative of one party cannot back a member of another party as prime minister. The deputy attorney general was arguing for the defendant which in this case is the government.

He mentioned that as per the laws any lawmaker can stay neutral during such a situation but cannot vote in favour of a member of another party. If the concerned lawmaker wants to then they can break away and form another party but cannot support another political leader while still being the member of the party, he added.

Pandey further stated that any lawmaker supporting the leader of another party against the decision of their own party is unconstitutional and also an affront to the trust placed by the voters.

When Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana questioned the legality of the House being dissolved without a recommendation that a prime minister cannot be appointed, Deputy Attorney General Pandey replied that the president did not see any basis of appointing a prime minister as per Article 76 (5) of the constitution and in this situation there is no need to go back to the House. He added that the president needs to first appoint the prime minister and then the prime minister needs to go the House to seek a vote of confidence.

Chief Justice Rana again asked whether the House should be involved or not when there was no basis to appoint a prime minister. He added whether another viable option could have been sought. Meanwhile, Justice Meera Khadka said that making a claim was enough for the president. She added that to verify the claim the House of Representatives is there.

However, Pandey claimed that the president had the right to appoint the prime minister as per Article 76 (5).

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