Nepal political crisis, PM Oli recommends dissolution of Parliament

Last Updated: Sunday, 20 December 2020 (16:01 IST)
Kathmandu: In fast changing political developments in Nepal, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Sunday recommended dissolution of the House after an emergency meeting of his Cabinet.

 
The sudden development has sparked off a heated political debate in the Himalayan country and threatens to snowball since Nepal’s constitution does not have a provision for the dissolution of the House. Consequently, the Opposition Nepali Congress (NC) described the move as “authoritarian” and said they would oppose it politically.

“The Cabinet meeting decided to recommend to the President dissolution of the Parliament,” Nepal’s Energy Minister Barshaman Pun said.
 
Prime Minister Oli was under pressure to withdraw an ordinance issued on December 15 to amend the Constitutional Council Act (Functions, Duties and Procedures) 2010, and got endorsed by President Bidya Devi Bhandari the same day, the Kathmandu Post said.
 
The ordinance which states that a majority of the Council members can hold the meeting, follows postponement of a meeting of the Constitutional Council on December 15 because of Speaker Agni Sapkota’s refusal to attend. 
 
The House Speaker is one of the members in the Constitutional Council, headed by the Prime Minister, which makes recommendations for key appointments including in constitutional bodies, judiciary and foreign missions. 
 
As soon as the Cabinet meeting began on Sunday morning, Prime Minister Oli announced that he was going to recommend the House dissolution to the President.
 
The Prime Minister had on Saturday held meetings with the President, his fellow party Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Secretariat member Ram Bahadur Thapa.
 
Nepal’s main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) strongly criticized the Prime Minister’s decision describing it as “authoritarian” and said the NC would resist it politically. It urged people to act together to protect the constitution and the democratic system.
 
“NC will foil the last ditch effort of the PM’s authoritarian aspirations,” party’s spokesperson Bishwaprakash Sharma said on Twitter.
 
NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel said the Prime Minister’s decision to dissolve the Parliament is against the constitution, against the democratic system and the country itself.  He said Nepal’s constitution does not have such a provision and the President should not approve the recommendation.
 
“The Parliament dissolution recommendation should be rescinded. I denounce this non-democratic act of pushing the country and democracy to instability and crisis,” Paudel said. (UNI)