Nepal’s apex court forwards writ petitions against Parliament’s dissolution to Constitutional bench

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Kathmandu, Dec 23 (PTI) Nepal’s Supreme Court on Wednesday forwarded all the writ petitions against Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s move to dissolve Parliament to a Constitutional bench, media reports said.

Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana’s single bench passed the order after a preliminary hearing on the 12 different writ petitions filed against the dissolution of the House of Representatives, My Republica newspaper reported.

The Constitutional bench will start the hearing on Friday. The bench is led by Chief Justice Rana and will have four other justices who will be picked by him.

Although the petitioners demanded an interim order against the decision, the apex court has refused to issue any such order.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda-led faction of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) have reached the Election Commission demanding that they hold a two-thirds majority in the party and therefore they must be granted official recognition by the election body, the paper said.

'We are here with the proof that we are the only legitimate Nepal Communist Party,' Leela Mani Pokharel, a standing committee member of the party, was quoted as saying by the paper.

Pokharel said that their faction has a majority with official signatures of 315 central committee members of the party.

To get official recognition from the EC, the faction should have majority members, full details and their signatures along with copies of citizenships. On Tuesday, a central committee meeting of the Prachanda-led faction of the party removed Oli from the post of chairman and decided to take disciplinary action against him for dissolving the House of Representatives unconstitutionally, virtually splitting the party more than two years after its formation.

The central committee also unanimously nominated senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal as the party's second chairman in place of Oli. Prachanda is the first chairman of the party.

Nepal on Sunday plunged into a political crisis after Prime Minister Oli got President Bidya Devi Bhandari to dissolve Parliament, a controversial move amidst a prolonged tussle for power between him and former premier Prachanda within the ruling dispensation.

The move came after the intra-party feud reached climax in the ruling party which has been witnessing months long tussle between two factions, one led by 68-year-old Oli and another led by 66-year-old Prachanda. PTI CPS ZH CPS