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Federal parliament in a bind

Federal parliament in a bind

Speaker of the House of Representatives Devraj Ghimire and Chair of the National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina have again requested President Ram Chandra Paudel to appoint general secretary of the Federal Parliament, stating that the absence of the office-holder for more than a month has been affecting the functioning of the parliament. 

The constitutional position has been lying vacant since Bharatraj Gautam tendered his resignation on Nov 10 last year.

Speaker Ghimire and NA Chair have tried to draw the president’s attention toward the matter through discussions with the latter’s legal advisor Baburam Kunwar.

Ghimire and Timilsina have recommended the appointment of Padma Prasad Pandey, secretary at the parliament, as the new general secretary.

Speaker Ghimire, after consultations with thematic committee chairs of the Parliament, told mediapersons: “I have already recommended the appointment of the general secretary and hope it will happen soon.” 

However, the Office of the President has not started the appointment process. The office has been arguing that it cannot initiate the appointment process as it is yet to accept Gautam’s resignation as HoR general secretary. 

President Paudel has also been facing charges of showing undue interest in the appointment.

Paudel, after consultations with Ghimire and NA chair Timilsina, had appointed Pandey as acting general secretary of the parliament on Nov 13 pending further arrangements.

But this appointment has not been without its share of controversies as Pandey faces charges of obtaining multiple citizenships. After receiving a complaint regarding the same, the parliamentary Public Affairs and Good Governance Committee has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to probe the matter and get it the facts.