The Supreme Court of Nepal has reinstated the House of Representatives that President Bidya Devi Bhandari had dissolved on May 22 at the recommendation of Prime Minister K P Oli.
A five-member constitutional bench led by Chief Justice Cholendra Sharma Rana issued the verdict on Monday, stating President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s decision to dissolve the parliament is unconstitutional.
The court also passed a mandamus in the name of the Office of President to appoint Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba as the new prime minister of the country by Tuesday. The court also ordered summoning a fresh session of House of Representatives at 5 PM on July 18.
The ruling came on Monday on 30 writ petitions including one filed by 146 parliament members including Sher Bahadur Deuba demanding that the court issue a mandamus order in the name of President appoint Deuba as the Prime Minister of Nepal. In an unprecedented decision, the constitutional bench has agreed to meet the claims.
Before, the Lower House of parliament had been dissolved on December 20, and later it was reinstated by the Supreme Court on February 23.
After failing to get a vote of confidence on May 10, Prime Minister Oli was appointed as the Prime Minister of Nepal as per Article 76(3) in his capacity as the parliamentary party leader of the largest party in the parliament.
Prime Minister Oli chose not to seek a confidence motion from the parliament as per Article 76 (4) and requested President Bidya Devi Bhandari to start a formation process of a new government.
President Bhandari, on May 20, asked the members of the House to stake their claim to the new government by the next day. Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba and PM Oli laid claim to the position of Prime Minister. Deuba claimed to have the support of 146 lawmakers while Oli claimed the support of 153 members of parliament.
President Bhandari, however, invalidated both the claims saying both were ‘insufficient’ and dissolved the House on May 22.
Now Nepali Congress President Deuba will have to win the vote of confidence as per Article 76 (4) within 30 days.
A senior leader of CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal has lauded the verdict of the Supreme Court to reinstate the dissolved parliament. “The Supreme Court has done a good job. The court’s verdict has also raised moral questions on Oli’s actions,” he said.
The President of Nepal Communist Party- Maoist, Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had termed the verdict as an important incident in Nepal’s history. “This verdict is a victory for Nepal and Nepali people,” he said.
Baburam Bhattarai, federal Chairman of the Janta Samajbadi party, said that the court’s order has put a brake on Oli’s authoritarian rule.
Narayankaji Shrestha, leader of the Communist Party of Nepal- Maoist Centre said that the verdict played an important role in protecting the democracy and constitution.
“Court saved the constitution by abrogating Oli’s unconstitutional move,” said Minendra Rijal, leader of Nepali Congress.