KATHMANDU: People today have questions about whether President Dr Ram Baran Yadav can block promulgation of any ordinance by going against the recommend-ation of the Cabinet. Since it is a matter of grave concern, people need to know the reality. At a time when the government and major political parties are in confrontation over bringing the budget through ordinance, the intervention of the president is obviously in line with the spirit of the Interim Constitution (IC).
Five major preconditions — the absence of the meeting or session of Parliament, urgent need, which does not violate the Constitution, recommendation from the Cabinet and satisfaction of the president are required for the prom-ulgation of any ordinance as per Article 88 of the IC.
In the absence of any one of the five preconditions, prom-ulgation of the ordinance is not possible and if any precondition is absent, the possibility of the issuance of ordinance is slim. For example, if it violates the spirit of the Constitution or the president is not satisfied, the head of the state can reject such an ordinance.
Evidently, it is the right of any government to issue ordinance, which is the executive made law in the absence of Parliament. But since the IC does not allow any government to work in absence of political consensus, it is clear that political parties will oppose the idea of promulgating of any ordinance.
In line with the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on July 1, the government either needs to forge cons-ensus among the political parties to bring a full-fledged budget or choose the Article 96A (1) and (2) for a one-third budget, as per the best options given by the Constitution to bring a budget in such a situation.
Since Article 43 requires political consensus for the functioning of the government, the parties have the right to seek the president’s role to block the ordinance to protect the Constitution.
Despite the SC showing a legitimate way, the government is unilaterally trying to bring a full budget by going against the wish of the opposition parties. Even though the president had approved three ordinances — facilities and perks to former bigwigs, extradition and mutual legal assistance — as per recommendations by the present government, it is interesting to wait and see what he does with the controversial budget.
“The president works in the parameters of the Constitution,” Dr Surya Dhungel, legal advisor to the president, told THT Perspectives. “He has been consulting with experts about what needs to be done, but it is obvious that he will play in favour of the Constitution,” Dhungel added.