Nepal's opposition-alliance moves court demanding reinstatement of Lower House, appointment of Deuba as PM

·3-min read
Nepal Supreme Court (File Photo)
Nepal Supreme Court (File Photo)

Kathmandu [Nepal], May 24 (ANI):Nepal's opposition alliance on Monday moved to the Supreme Court, demanding that the Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba be declared as a new prime minister and reinstatement of the House of Representatives (HoR).

A total of 146 former members of the HoR reached out to Supreme Court with writ petition.

"Following the Constitution and its clause, Sher Bahadur Deuba should be appointed as Prime Minister on the basis of majority of immediate house, we have sought immediate order from the Supreme Court. We have expected court would give the order soon. The unconstitutional move of dissolving house which has been undertaken by Prime Minister and President to be reinstated. A total of 146 members have arrived at court as evidence," Ramesh Lekhak, one of the leader of Nepali Congress briefed reporters after filing the petition.

A total of 61 former member of House of Representative from Nepali Congress, 49 from Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), 23 from Madhav Nepal faction of CPN-UML, 12 from Upendra Yadav-Baburam Bhattarai of Janata Samajbadi Party and one from Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal-have signed the petition.

The petition has challenged Friday night move of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and President Bidya Devi Bhandari's House dissolution move. Before dissolving the House, President Bhandari earlier on Friday night had disqualified Deuba's claim that he be appointed prime minister.

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

"Respected legislature on the basis of constitutional clauses and earlier verdict which it gave few months before. Today we have submitted majority of 146 signatures- about 54 percent of the total seats of parliament marched onto here as evidence, we are the ones who are here following your earlier verdict to make Sher Bahadur Deuba, the next Prime Minister. President of Nepal didn't let us exercise our constitutional right and we are confident that court would give us justice," Gagan Thapa, another leader from Nepali Congress told reporters.

On Friday afternoon, 26 lawmakers of the Madhav Nepal faction of the UML had thrown weight behind Deuba. Of them, Gorkarna Bista, Pabitra Niroula and Ganesh Pahadi backed out on Monday, and they have not signed the petition.

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 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. It's the President who initiates Article 76 (5) when a prime minister appointed under Article 76 (3) fails the trust vote. Oli, however, neither sought the trust vote nor resigned, thereby creating a situation in which a prime minister was asking the President to appoint a prime minister.

The President then asked lawmakers to stake claim to the government under Article 76 (5) by Friday 5pm.

Oli, recommended invocation of Article 76 (5) saying there was no political ground for him to win the trust vote, on Friday night himself applied before the President, demanding that he be appointed prime minister. (ANI)

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