KATHMANDU, May 16: Due to delay in the law-making process, newly elected local level representatives are unlikely to assume their offices soon after the election results.
The Bill on Local Level Governance, which provisions the oath of office for local level representatives, is yet to be endorsed by parliament. The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development registered the bill in the Parliament Secretariat a week ago but it hasn't been tabled in the House meeting so far, as the House has been postponed till May 18.
The bill requires that the district judge should administrate the oath of office to mayors and deputy mayors or chiefs and deputy chiefs as well as coordinators of district coordination committee. The bill has also proposed a format of the oath for the mayors/chiefs and deputy (mayors/chiefs) in its schedule.
After taking the oath of office, the chiefs and deputy chiefs will administrate the oath to other members at the local level. But endorsement of the bill is expected to take at least a week even if it is move forward through the fast track process. Spokesperson for the Ministry of Local Development, Kedar Nath Sharma said that the ministry will try to get the bill endorsed by parliament through the fast track process to pave the way for the elected local representatives to take the oath of office at the earliest. “We will request parliament to endorse the bill through the fast-track process. But we cannot exert pressure on parliamentary business,” said Sharma.
The government couldn't table the bill in the House due to the obstruction from the opposition CPN-UML which wanted the withdrawal of the impeachment motion registered against Chief Justice Sushila Kakri. Also, the local development ministry was without leadership after Kamal Thapa resigned shortly after the registration of the bill at the parliament secretariat.
Nepal Loktantrik Forum Chairman has been appointed as the local development minister recently, but as the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (Maoist Center) have not withdrawn the impeachment motion, the main opposition UML is unlikely to lift the House obstruction. The local level representatives are unlikely to assume office immediately after their election, due to the lack of the law concenred, said a ministry source.
Similarly, parliament is yet to make the law for perks and other benefits to the local level representatives. The local development ministry is yet to register the bill in the parliament though it is almost ready.
According to sources, the bill has proposed separate salary scales for mayors, deputy mayors, chiefs and deputy chiefs and ward committee chairpersons and providing vehicle to mayors of metropolitan cities, sub-metropolitan cities and municipalities.