ANANTA RAJ LUINTEL
KATHMANDU: Singha Durbar and Shital Niwas are yet again on a collision course -- thanks to the two ordinances that the Cabinet moved to the President's Office on Friday. While political pundits and legal experts engage in passionate bi-partisan debate over whether the Head of State should approve the ordinances, the President's Office could take some time before deciding.
"It depends whether these ordinances are within the purview of the Constitution," Rajendra Dahal, Press Adviser to the President told The Himalayan Times today. "If the ordinances meet constitutional parameters, the President will be compelled to approve them," he added. Dahal said it would be some days before the President took a decision.
President Yadav has already okayed ordinances on Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition Treaty, facilities to former bigwigs and the budget for the current fiscal year following the dissolution of the CA. The government forwarded Constituent Assembly Election Ordinance and General Revisions and Amendment to Election Ordinance to the President on Friday.
Lawyers claim that the President is not compelled to issue the ordinance but he can test its constitutionality.
Attorney General Mukti Narayan Pradhan, however, said since the President did not have executive powers, he could not reject recommendations of the Cabinet.
Minister of Physical Planning and Works Hridayesh Tripathi said, "The government decided to send the ordinances to the President, as they were necessary whether the elections for CA are held on November 22 or any other date," he said, adding, "Even the constitutional provisions regarding elections would have to be amended through ordinances."
Former PM and senior leader of UML Madhav Kumar Nepal urged the President to reject the ordinances. "The government is against the Constitution and it did not even feel the urge to forge consensus," he added.
Dr Ramsharan Mahat, a senior Nepali Congress leader, however, blamed the government for justifying its illegal decision to hold elections in such a situation. "The President must reject the ordinances, as it could not forge consensus," he added.
Deputy Prime Minister and Vice-Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the Interim Constitution did not envision a situation of rejection by the President. "Neither the government nor the party has ever thought about such a situation," he added. "It would be unfortunate if the President did so. It is not even certain that the promulgation of the ordinance can ensure election."