Nepal's Opposition alliance urges state organs not to support Oli govt's 'unconstitutional' activities

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Kathmandu, May 30 (PTI) Nepal's Opposition alliance on Sunday urged all state institutions not to support Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli government's 'unconstitutional' and 'anti-democratic' activities that could have a lasting impact on the country and people at a time when a writ petition is being heard by the Supreme Court challenging the dissolution of the House of Representatives.

The alliance also expressed hope that the Supreme Court's verdict on the petitions against the dissolution of the lower house of Parliament will come in its favour, according to media reports.

In a joint statement, leaders of the Opposition parties warned the government to refrain from undertaking any activity that could have a lasting effect on the country and people, The Himalayan Times reported.

Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, Communist Party of Nepal- Maoist Centre Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', leader of the disgruntled faction of CPN-Unified Marxist–Leninist Madhav Kumar Nepal, co-chair of Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal Upendra Yadav and vice-chair of Rashtriya Janamorcha Durga Poudel signed the statement.

The Opposition leaders also urged all the state organs and institutions not to support the Oli government in its 'unconstitutional' and 'anti-democratic' acts.

'We are certain that the Supreme Court of Nepal will safeguard the Constitution and give verdict in our favour,' the statement said.

“We had staked claim to the post of Prime Minister with the support of 149 lawmakers. The government cannot decide on dissolving the House in this case,” reads a joint press statement of the Opposition alliance.

At present, 136 votes are needed to form a majority government.

The Opposition alliance moved the Apex Court demanding reinstatement of the House of Representatives and appointment of Sher Bahadur Deuba as the Prime Minister in line with Article 76 (5) of the Constitution. Others had also filed petitions against the dissolution of the House of Representatives.

A Constitutional Bench of Nepal's Supreme Court on Friday heard 30 writ petitions against the dissolution of the lower house of Parliament.

Sunday's hearing was mainly focused on the formation of the Constitutional Bench to hear the writ petitions which demand the restoration of the lower house of Parliament dissolved on May 22. Lawyers from both sides put forth their arguments over the questions raised by some members of the Bench, My Republica.com reported.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the 275-member House of Representatives on May 22 for the second time in five months and announced snap elections on November 12 and November 19 on the advice of Prime Minister Oli.

She rejected the bids of both Prime Minister Oli and the Opposition alliance's claims to form a government. Oli and Nepali Congress President Deuba had staked separate claims to the premiership, saying the “claims were insufficient.” Embattled prime minister Oli on Friday urged all political parties to form an all-party government and hold fresh elections, as he tried to justify the controversial dissolution of the House of Representatives twice by the President, saying a 'functionless' Parliament turned out to be the main source of instability in the country.

Earlier on December 20, the President had dissolved the Parliament and called snap polls on April 30 and May 10. However, two months later, Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana-led Constitutional Bench on February 23 overturned the decision and reinstated the House of Representatives.

Constitutional experts have criticised Oli and Bhandari for their complicity in trampling upon the Constitution.

Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 last year after President Bhandari dissolved the House and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10 at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli, amidst a tussle for power within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

Oli's move to dissolve the House sparked protests from a large section of the NCP led by his rival 'Prachanda'. PTI NSA AKJ AKJ

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