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House of Representatives to decide on vote of confidence on Monday

Narayan Neupane, KATHMANDU: The special session of House of Representatives (HoR) is taking place on Monday to confirm whether Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has the confidence of the HoR.
On the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, President Bidya Devi Bhandari had summoned the House meeting for Monday as PM plans to obtain the vote of confidence from the parliament.
Nepali Congress parliamentary party’s chief whip Bal Krishna Khand said that the voting process would be advanced on Monday after political parties’ leaders make their opinions in the Business Advisory Committee on the vote of confidence motion put forth by the PM. He said that lawmakers with negative report of COVID-19 would cast their vote at the main meeting hall while those infected ones will cast vote from a separate chamber. The special session of the House is summoned at a time when the intra-party feud in the ruling CPN (UML) has deepened. UML’s chief whip Bishal Bhattarai said that a decision has been made to ensure participation of COVID-19 infected parliamentarians in a safe environment. Currently, a total of 28 lawmakers are infected with coronavirus.
Likewise, as agreed in the Business Advisory Committee, the party’s leaders will make their speech in brief. However, a fixed time is not set for the Prime Minister, former prime ministers and former speakers. The House session will end on Monday itself after the voting on the vote of confidence. After the end of this House session, the government will summon the budget session of the House.
As per the House business on Monday, Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota will read out a letter received from the President on the HoR session at the beginning of the House session. Immediate after that, a presidium would be selected to run the House meeting on the proposal of the Speaker. Likewise, PM Oli will table a proposal seeking vote of confidence and urge the House to cast vote in the proposal. After PM’s proposal, the political parties’ representatives will put their opinions.
After the lawmakers’ opinions, the PM will respond to their views and questions raised. Following the PM’s response, proposal on voting will advance with the options of ‘Yes’, ‘No’ and ‘Neutral’ and the votes will be divided accordingly. At present, there are altogether 271 lawmakers in the parliament and the PM should garner support of 136 lawmakers to gain majority in his side. The House Speaker will cast votes only if the votes are divided on equal half.

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