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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Nepal Congress to take political and legal actions against Parliament dissolution

President Bhandari on Saturday dissolved the 275-member House and announced mid-term polls on November 12 and 19 after she determined that both embattled Prime Minister Oli and the Opposition alliance's candidate Sher Bahadur Deuba were not in a position to form a government.

By: PTI | Kathmandu |
Updated: May 22, 2021 3:02:28 pm
Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli. (Reuters file)

The Opposition Nepali Congress on Saturday decided to take political and legal actions against the dissolution of the House of Representatives by President Bidya Devi Bhandari, accusing her and Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli of misusing the Constitution for their benefit.

President Bhandari on Saturday dissolved the 275-member House and announced mid-term polls on November 12 and 19 after she determined that both embattled Prime Minister Oli and the Opposition alliance’s candidate Sher Bahadur Deuba were not in a position to form a government.

Bhandari’s announcement came after Prime Minister Oli recommended the dissolution of the House of Representatives following an emergency midnight Cabinet meeting.

Expressing serious concern over the dissolution of the House, the National Congress (NC) said that President Bhandari and Prime Minister Oli had acted unconstitutionally, myrepublica.com reported.

After Oli’s announcement not to seek a vote of confidence from parliament after his re-appointment on May 10, President Bhandari invited leaders to stake claim to the position as per Article 76(5) giving less than 24 hours.

Deuba, president of the NC, staked his claim to the post of prime minister with the signatures of 149 lawmakers in his support.

“However, President Bhandari refused Deuba’s claim and helped Oli remain the Prime Minister. This move is not only just unconstitutional but also immoral,” a press statement issued by the NC said.

The NC has also accused President Bhandari and Prime Minister Oli of misusing the Constitution for their own benefit as their personal property.

“PM Oli recommending forming a new government, President Bhandari announcing to stake a claim to form new government giving less than 24 hours, not appointing prime minister as per the provision of the Constitution and dissolving HoR and holding a cabinet meeting in the middle of the night are unconstitutional and anti-democratic,” the statement said.

“NC strongly objects to these kinds of activities,” it said.

Deuba, urging all the democratic forces to unite and act together for the protection of the Constitution and democracy, vowed to take political and legal action against the House dissolution.

Meanwhile, leaders from the Nepali Congress, CPN- Maoist Centre, Madhav Nepal faction of ruling CPN-UML, and Upendra Yadav faction of Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal are meeting in the federal Parliament premises on Saturday to discuss the future course of action.

The Opposition is likely to contemplate legal and political strategies in response to the prime minister and the president’s second attempt at dissolving the House and calling snap polls.

Last year on December 20, President Bhandari had dissolved Parliament but later it was reinstated by the Supreme Court in February.

“We will discuss our strategy to counter Oli’s move,” said Durga Poudel, a lawmaker of the Rastriya Janamorcha.

“We will also discuss registering a writ petition at the Supreme Court by all 149 lawmakers who had signed yesterday to support Sher Bahadur Deuba the new prime minister.”

The ruling CPN-UML will also hold its Standing Committee meeting on Saturday.

The meeting will take place at the prime minister’s residence in Baluwatar, media reports said.

The meeting will be focused on the midterm elections, current political scenario and the internal conflict within the party, according to Sher Bahadur Tamang, UML office secretary.

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