Nepal Supreme Court to start preliminary hearings on lower house dissolution from Thursday

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Representative Image
Representative Image

Kathmandu [Nepal], May 25 (ANI): Nepal's Supreme Court has announced dates for preliminary hearing starting from Thursday over writ petitions filed against the dissolution of the House of Representatives (HOR).

As many as 30 writ petitions have been filed at the apex court, out of which 19 writ petitions have sought interim order and hearing in the ordinary session and 11 sought a hearing in the Constitutional bench.

According to Kishor Poudel, the communication expert at the Supreme Court, hearings on 19 petitions in ordinary session will be held on Thursday and hearings on the remaining 11 petitions in the Constitutional bench will be held on Friday.

Out of 30 writ petitions, four have demanded continuation of now caretaker Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli as prime minister in case the house is reinstated.

After President Bidya Devi Bhandari ruled that there was no basis for the appointment of the Prime Minister as per Article 76 (5), the parliament was dissolved on Friday night by the President on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers and the date of the election was fixed for November 12 and 19.

Stating that the dissolution of the parliament is unconstitutional, as many as 146 lawmakers on Monday filed a writ petition at the apex court demanding the reinstatement of the lower house and appointment of Sher Bahadur Deuba as prime minister as per Article 76 (5) of the Constitution.

Monday's petition had also challenged Oli and President Bhandari's move to dissolve the House. Before dissolving the House, President Bhandari on Friday had disqualified Deuba's claim to be appointed as the prime minister.

Deuba had presented signatures of 149 lawmakers to prove that he commanded a majority to lead a new government. However, Oli too made a claim for the premiership, even though he was still the prime minister, saying he had the backing of 153 lawmakers.

After the President's refusal to allow Deuba to form a new government as per Article 76 (5) and dissolution of the House, the opposition alliance on Saturday, in a strongly-worded statement, said that it would counter Oli's dissolution move both legally and politically because the decision is unconstitutional, undemocratic and regressive.

Bhandari on May 13 had appointed Oli as the prime minister, even though he failed a confidence motion in the House on May 10, under Article 76 (3) of the Constitution as the leader of the party with the highest number of members in the House.

A week after his appointment, Oli on May 20, in a sudden move, recommended that the President invoke Article 76 (5) to choose a new Prime Minister. As per laws, the President initiates Article 76 (5) when a premier appointed under Article 76 (3) loses the trust vote.

However, Oli neither sought the trust vote nor resigned, thereby creating a situation in which a Prime Minister was asking the President to appoint a premier. The President then asked lawmakers to stake claims to the government under Article 76 (5) by Friday 5 pm.

Oli, who recommended invocation of Article 76 (5) saying there was no political ground for him to win the trust vote, on Friday himself staked the claim to be appointed prime minister before the Nepal President. (ANI)

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