Historic ruling restoring the dissolved House of Representatives
The Constitutional Tribunal ordered the House to convene within 13 days
Kathmandu: Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was dealt a heavy blow in the country’s Supreme Court on Tuesday. A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher has issued a landmark judgment recommending the dissolution of the House of Representatives due to the ongoing battle with rivals for power in the ruling Communist Party and reconvening the House of Representatives in the run-up to the by-elections. The bench also directed the House to convene within the next 13 days. Nepal’s President Bidyadev Bhandari has dissolved the House of Representatives on December 20 on the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10, plunging Nepal into a political crisis.
Oli said in a letter to the treasurer recommending the dissolution of the House that he had a 64 per cent majority in the House, although it was unlikely to form a new government and therefore needed to seek fresh public judgment to achieve stability in the country. However, the ruling Communist Party of Nepal’s co – president Pushpakumar Dahal, led by Prachanda, was furious over Oli’s decision to dissolve the House of Representatives. Thirteen writ petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court seeking to restore the House of Representatives, the lower house of Parliament. It also includes a writ petition filed by ruling party chief whip Dev Prasad Gurung. The bench comprising Justices Bishwambhar Prasad Shrestha, Anil Kumar Sinha, Sapana Malla and Teh Bahadur Kesi heard the petitions from January 17 to 19 this month. Oli’s decision, however, caused the ruling Communist Party to split vertically.
Last month, the Prachanda-led faction also canceled Oli’s primary membership for engaging in anti-party activities. However, both factions have approached the Election Commission seeking to assert their party affiliation, claiming that they are the real Communist Party. Meanwhile, Prachanda-led activists are celebrating his victory over Oli in court. Prachanda and another co – president, Nepalis, have already arrived in Chitwan on Wednesday to address a public meeting.