June 24, 2024, Monday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Parliamentary practices


The Nepal Weekly
July 4, 2022

As Nepal observed the 64th Parliament Day recently people and politicos once again revisited the saying – parliamentary practices are very important for realizing democratic values and norms. They recalled how Nepali politicos fought for parliament, established parliament, lost the same time and again, reestablished it many times and initiated parliamentary practices for over six decades. Yet they have not been able to allow the parliament grow as a democratic institution with innumerable practices essential for governance, public services, representation, elections and matters of national and local importance. Politicos have not been able to allow parliamentary committees to play well their role particularly scrutiny of the executive – the government. Parliaments in Nepal always depend on consideration of the political party which is powerful. Each political party which emerged as powerful in different times used parliament for selfish purpose or leader-centric interest. Parties, history shows, did not let the parliament and its practices evolve spontaneously. A great initial step was taken for institutionalizing the parliament in 1959 but the same got dissolved in 1960. Even after it was restored three decades later politicos could not strengthen parliament as an institution. Dissolving the parliament as soon as the party in power thought it uncomfortable has been the rule until recently. As politicos prepare for general election 2022 for electing a new parliament they should pledge that they would strengthen parliament as a democratic representative institution and allow its practices develop spontaneously and democratically over time. They should express commitment to make the parliament as a scrutiny body and not as an instrument for ensuring their power. They should develop political will for the same and allow parliamentary practices to grow spontaneously. The same would motivate representatives to play effective role in bill-making and overseeing the work of the government of the day besides adopting policies in the interest of the country and the people. This would enable various important posts in parliament – Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Parliamentary Committees – to play effective role for the broad interest of the country and the people. Sovereign Nepalis expect this from the institution to which they send their representatives through general election in periodic elections. The party in power should also remember that it does not have the super power to dissolve it as per its need or wish. Let parliament emerge as effective institution of democracy in the country! Let the parliamentary practices evolve as exemplary guidelines in bill making as per the need of changing times and society!