About of An Introduction to Legislature of Nepal

The legislature is the most important organ of the government that makes and changes law. It is composed of the representative elected by people directly or indirectly. A nation is governed and all State mechanisms run as per the laws formulated by this organ. The concept and origin of legislature dates back to the 18th century Europe. Now, it has become an indispensable part of democracy. Also termed as Parliament or House, this organ id known by different names in different countries. Parliament in Nepal, India and the UK; Congress in the USA; The National Diet in Japan; Majilis-E-Suda in Pakistan and National People’s Assembly in China. It is composed of the representatives elected by people directly or indirectly.

Two Levels Legislature in Nepal

A legislature might be unicameral or bicameral in structure. Nepal had bicameral legislature as per the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 2047. But the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2063, adopted unicameral legislature called the Legislative Parliament. As per the Constitutional of Nepal, there is be dual legislative bodies in Nepal: federal and provincial. The federal legislature is bicameral in nature comprising of the two Houses. Whereas the provincial legislature is unicameral.

  1. Federal Legislature

Part 8 of the Constitution of Nepal deals with the federal legislature. Also called the federal parliament, it consists of two Houses.

  • House of Representatives (HoR): with Speaker and Deputy Speaker to lead the House.
  • National Assembly (NA): with Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson to lead the Assembly.

Composition of the House of Representatives and Tenure of Members

Article 84 of the same part of the Constitution has made the following provisions for the composition of the House of Representatives and the tenure of its members:

  1. The House of Representatives shall consist of 275 members as follows:
    • 165 members elected through the first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system (consisting of 1 member from each of the 165 constituencies based on geography, and population.
    • 110 member elected form proportional representation (PR) electoral system.
  2. Provision shall be made for the representation of political parties to file candidacy for the election of the House of Representatives for proportional representation through a ‘closed list’.

Composition of the National Assembly and Tenure of members:

Article 86 of the same part of the constitution has made the following provisions on the composition of National Assembly and term of its members:

  1. National Assembly shall be a permanent house.
  2. There shall be 59 members in the National Assembly as follows:
  • 56 Members elected from an Electoral College comprising members of Provincial Assembly, chairperson and vice-chairpersons of rural municipalities, and Mayors and Deputy Mayors of Municipal Councils with different weights of votes for each through single transferable voting system with 8 members from each province, including at least 3 women, 1 Dalit, and 1 person with disability or minority.
  • 3 Members, including at least a woman, to be nominated by the President on the recommendation of Government of Nepal.

2. Provincial Legislature

Article 175 of part 14 of the Constitutional deals with the provincial legislature. Every province in Nepal shall a provincial legislature to formulate necessary laws for it. The legislature shall consist of 60% members elected through FPTP and 40% through PR electoral system.

Qualification to Register Candidacy on Federal Legislature

As defined by the constitution, an individual should fulfill the following criteria to register the candidacy in an election for the Federal Parliament:

  • Citizen of Nepal.
  • Has attained 25 years of age for the House of Representatives and 35 years of age for the National Assembly.
  • Not been punished for any criminal offence involving moral turpitude.
  • Not ineligible under any law.
  • Not holding an office or profit.

Power and Functions of the Federal Legislature

The power and functions of the federal legislature are given below:

  • Formulation of Law: Making law according to the will, sentiment and need of people is the prime function of the federal legislature. This is why a legislature has rightly been called a ‘law factory’. A bill, also called a raw, is tabled in the legislature meeting of any of the House. The bill, then, is discussed and re-discussed through different committees and sub-committees. After a wide range of discussion, it can be revised or changed as necessary. Then it is promptly sent to another House. Once the House also approves the bill by majority votes, it is sealed by the president. Now, the bill becomes a law.
  • Amendment of the Constitution: Since the same law may not work forever, it needs to be revised, updated or improved as per time, situation and context. Existing laws need to be removed or revised while missing laws need to be included. According to the Constitution of Nepal, the constitution can be amended by a two-third party majority of the federal legislature.
  • Financial Function: The legislature passes annual budget prepared by the government. The government cannot spend even a single penny, expect mentioned in the budget, without the consent or approval from it. Similarly, imposition of a new tax and changing of the existing tax cannot be done without its approval. This is the reason of calling it ‘the guardian of State revenue’.
  • Administrative Function: The legislature functions to control the executive. Generally, the head of the executive is chosen and appointed by the legislature if the country follows a parliamentary ruling system. The legislature can warn the executive by raising voice against bad deeds, and criticizing unjust plans and programmes. This helps to make the executive responsible toward its citizen. If not satisfied with the executive’s works and actions, the legislature can also forward the ‘vote of no confidence’ (motion of no trust). This may result into the collapse of the executive.

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