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संसद विघटन, विधिको शासन र लोकतन्त्र विपरित: इन्टरनेशनल बार (विज्ञप्तीसहित)

संसद विघटन, विधिको शासन र लोकतन्त्र विपरित: इन्टरनेशनल बार (विज्ञप्तीसहित)

काठमाडौं । इन्टरनेशनल बारएसोसिएसन्सले नेपालको संसद विघटनप्रति चासो व्यक्त गरेको छ । इन्टरनेशनल बार एसोसिएसन्सको ह्युमन राइट्स इन्स्टिच्युट (आइबीएएचआरआइ) ले एक विज्ञप्ती जारी गर्दै ६ महिनाको अन्तरालमा नेपालमा दोस्रो पटक भएको संसद विघटन र मध्यावधि निर्वाचन घोषणाप्रति आफ्नो ध्यानाकर्षण भएको जनाएको हो ।

साथै प्रधानमन्त्री केपी शर्मा ओली र मन्त्रीपरिषदद्वारा संवैधानिक व्यवस्था, संसदीय लोकतन्त्र र न्यायीक मूल्य मान्यता कार्यान्यवनमा भइरहेको भनिएको हस्तक्षेप प्रति पनि आइबीएएचआरआइले चिन्ता व्यक्त गरेको छ । महामारीका विरुद्ध एकजुट हुनुपर्ने बेला देखिएको राजनीतिक उथलपुथलले नागरिकको मानवअधिकार हनन् हुनसक्ने तर्फ पनि उसले चासो व्यक्त गरेको छ ।

आइबीएएचआरआइका सहध्यक्ष एनी र्यामवर्गले संसद विघटन र अध्यायदेशमार्फत वभिन्नि संवैधानिक आयोगमा भएका नियुक्तीले विधिको शासनलाई लत्याएको बताएका छन् ।

आइबीएएचआरआइले संसद विघटन र शक्ती पृथकिकरणमा भएको हस्तक्षेप दुवै लोकतन्त्रकका लागि घाटक रहेको भन्दै भत्र्सना गरेका छन् । आइबीएएचआरआइले लोकतन्त्र, संविधान र नेपाली जनातको संविधान प्रदत्त अधिकार सुनिश्चित गर्न सरकार समक्ष आग्रह समेत गरको छ । अहिलेको कोरोना महामारीको सन्दर्भमा नेपाली जनताको स्वास्थ्य र जीवन बचाउन संपूर्ण ध्यान केन्द्रित गर्न समेत आग्रह गरेको छ ।

प्रत्येक नागरिकलाई प्रत्यक्ष वा आफूले छानेका प्रतिनिधिमार्फत सरकारमा सहभागी हुने अधिकार रहेको भन्दै आइबीएएचआरआइले नेपाल सरकारलाई नागरिकको सो अधिकार सुुनिश्चित गर्न आग्रह गरेको छ ।

 

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is concerned by the dissolution of Nepal’s parliament by President Bidya Devi Bhandari for the second time in under six months and the ordering of phased general elections in November 2021. In addition, the alleged attempts of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and the Council of Ministers to interfere in the implementation of the country’s constitutional system, parliamentary democracy and judicial norms are of further concern, as are the human rights violations that Nepal’s citizens may be experiencing as political turmoil takes centre stage and diverts focus away from mitigating the COVId-19 crisis.

 

IBAHRI Co-chair and Immediate Past Secretary General of the Swedish Bar Association, Anne Ramberg Dr jur hc, commented ‘With the dissolution of Parliament and reported unvetted appointments made to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Election Commission and other constitutional bodies through an ordinance issued by the Prime Minister-led Constitutional Council, it is worrying that fundamental aspects of the rule of law are being bypassed in Nepal. The IBAHRI condemns the dissolution of Parliament and any interference in relation to the separation of powers, both of which are detrimental to any democracy, but particularly to a fledgling democracy. We urge the authorities of Nepal to guarantee genuine democracy, to respect and uphold the nation’s 2015 Constitution as well as citizens’ rights, including their paramount rights to life and health, which requires the COVID-19 pandemic receive the government’s fullest attention’.

Ms Ramberg added: ‘The government needs to recognise the severity of the COVID-19 crisis and the negative impact it has had on citizens in general and on Nepal’s democracy specifically. It will be prudent for the government to provide citizens with tools to enable them to participate fully in the electoral process without having to subject themselves potentially to contracting the virus. The IBAHRI urges the Nepalese government to uphold human rights values and equality as enshrined in Article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’.

 

With neither caretaker Prime Minister Oli nor opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba able to obtain a majority to form a new government by 21 May 2021, the deadline set by President Bhandari, on 22 May, at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli, the President dissolved Nepal’s parliament and ordered phased general elections be held on 12 and 19 November 2021.

The opposition say Mr Oli has no legal authority to propose dissolutions having lost a parliamentary vote of confidence earlier in May amid a worsening COVID-19 crisis. This second dissolution of Parliament follows one of 20 December 2020, which sparked mass protests and legal challenges. On that occasion, the Supreme Court ruled the dissolution unconstitutional, and Parliament was reinstated in February 2021. The current dissolution is also expected to face legal challenge.

Prior to the dissolution of Parliament on 20 December last year, action was taken by the Constitutional Council (the Council), headed by the Prime Minister, that undermined the parliamentary role of the House of Representatives. The Council issued an ordinance to amend the 2010 Constitutional Council Act (Functions, Duties and Procedures) that bolstered the influence of the Council, which makes recommendations for key appointments to the judiciary, the Election Commission, NHRC and other constitutional bodies.

Under the Constitutional Council Act, five out of six members must be present to approve a decision. However, the ordinance altered this provision so that the Council can take decisions on a majority basis with only three members present.

On the day the ordinance was issued, 15 December 2020, three members of the Council met – Prime Minister Oli, Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana and the Chairman of the National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina – and made 38 nominations to vacant positions on the constitutional bodies and five seats on the NHRC. Under the 2015 Nepal Constitution, these appointments are supposed to be vetted by the Parliament. However, Parliament was dissolved five days later. Despite the nominations circumventing the usual constitutional process, the appointments stand.

Nepal is suffering from a deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and is reporting more than 8,000 new infections on average each day. It is an unprecedented crisis. The government has been criticised for its handling of the pandemic. Prime Minister Oli and opposition parties alike have organised several political rallies and meetings after the dissolution of Parliament to gain more support, despite the risk of further spreading COVID-19.

 

Ms Ramberg said: ‘The IBAHRI draws attention to Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that states everyone has the right to take part in the government of their country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. We urge Nepal’s authorities to restore public trust and to give every consideration to ensuring citizens are able to carry out their democratic options fully, safely and confident in the integrity of both process and outcome.’
ENDS

Notes to the Editor

1.
The   International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute  an autonomous and financially independent entity, works with the global legal community to promote and protect human rights and the independence of the legal profession worldwide.
2.
Find the IBAHRI on social media here:

3.
The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession,  is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world’s bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.

The IBA acts as a connector, enabler, and influencer, for the administration of justice, fair practice, and accountability worldwide. The IBA has collaborated on a broad range of ground-breaking, international projects with the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Council of EuropeThe Commonwealth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, among others.

4.
Find the IBA on social media here:

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