Nepal’s opposition files writ petition against prez’s ‘unconstitutional’ House dissolution

PTI, May 24, 2021, 3:53 PM IST

Sher Bahadur Deuba

Kathmandu: Nepal’s opposition alliance on Monday filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the ”unconstitutional” dissolution of the House of Representatives by the President.

Leaders of the alliance moved the apex court two days after President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House on the recommendations of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who headed a minority government after losing a trust vote in the House.

In the writ, petitioners have demanded that Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba should be, lawfully, appointed the Prime Minister of Nepal in accordance with Article 76 (5), The Himalayan Times reported.

Their other demands include the scrapping of the announcement of elections in November, to stop election-related programmes amid the pandemic, and to issue an order to summon House meeting to facilitate presentation of the budget within the time provisioned by the Constitution, it said.

The petitioners noted that the dissolution was “unconstitutional” as there was legal room for the appointment of a new government as per Article 76 (5) of the Constitution of Nepal.

Former lawmakers from the Opposition parties had assembled in Singha Durbar on Sunday and on Monday to submit their signatures endorsing Deuba’s claim to the prime ministership.

At least 26 leaders from Prime Minister Oli’s rival faction have reportedly submitted their signatures.

Deuba had staked his claim to the government on Friday claiming that he has the support of 149 lawmakers.

President Bhandari dissolved the 275-member House of Representatives on Saturday for the second time in five months and announced snap elections on November 12 and November 19 on the advice of Prime Minister Oli, heading a minority government.

She rejected the bids of both embattled Prime Minister Oli and the Opposition alliance’s claims to form a government.

Oli and Opposition leader Deuba had staked separate claims to the premiership.

The announcement came after Prime Minister Oli in his last deal-sealing move on Friday midnight recommended the Office of the President to dissolve the House and announce dates for early elections.

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