Rival Nepal Communist Party factions look up to election commission, SC to resolve crisis

ANI
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KP Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of the caretaker government in Nepal.
KP Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of the caretaker government in Nepal.

By Binod Prasad Adhikari

Kathmandu [Nepal], December 26 (ANI): Rival factions of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) are looking up to the Election Commission and the Supreme Court to resolve the crisis arising from the dissolution of parliament.

KP Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of the caretaker government, in a recent interview to a local television channel Yoho said that he hopes the court would make a decision as per the constitution.

Likewise, on Friday, another faction of ruling NCP led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal reached Election Commission to claim they were the authentic party with a majority as per law.

"Today (Friday) our party Nepal Communist Party's Central Committee Members and those elected from our party took part in a special programme entitled 'Hami Yahan Xaun' (We are here). We wanted to convey to the Election Commission that we are the Nepal Communist Party," Narayankaji Shrestha, spokesperson for Dahal-Nepal faction of NCP told reporters after meeting Chief Election Commissioner on Friday morning.

A total of 295 Central Committee Members from Nepal Communist Party who are now waiting for a final decision from Election Commission about the authenticity of the party marched to the electoral body on Friday. Former Prime Ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal also took part in march and they finally met the Chief Election Commissioner.

"About conducting the election and political parties, there are certain laws. If there wasn't a law and meeting of a handful number of people's decision about a party wouldn't work. Whatever provisions are mentioned in the laws regarding political parties, on the basis of that, we have a majority-- nearly 70 per cent Central Committee Members, which would make us authentic. But also, a formal decision would be made by the Election Commission soon," Shrestha said.

The Election Commission, however, hasn't given any timeframe to announce its decision but factions of NCP have been approaching electoral body time and again to prove their authenticity.

The decision of Oli who is facing flak after the dissolution of parliament on December 20, was summoned by Supreme Court with show cause order. Constitutional Bench of five judges including Chief Justice, which has been looking after the 14 writ petitions filed against the latest decision made by Oli, has directed the government to reply within nine days.

Writ petitions have challenged the decision of Oli to dissolve parliament and its ratification by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari calling it unconstitutional. Assigning it to the Constitutional Bench, the Apex court has planned to schedule hearing over petitions from January 6 next year.

"We have total trust in the court. Judiciary would make decisions on basis of quintessence and spirit of the constitution, of people and all parties, civic society, experts and people from all walks of life that decision to dissolve parliament is unconstitutional, undemocratic. We have a total belief in it," Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the former Prime Minister and chairman of a rival faction of NCP told reporters in the capital Kathmandu on Friday afternoon.

Dahal vowed to fight for reinstatement of parliament in phased manner. He claimed that the existing constitution doesn't grant the Prime Minister the right to dissolve parliament.

"At the time of drafting the constitution, we had an extensive discussion, all political parties and constitutional experts held discussion; granting special right to dissolve parliament to a Prime Minister would always give chance to dissolve house without completing tenure inviting political uncertainty in the nation. Because of it, the then CPN-UML and the Prime Minister should not be given that exclusive right," Dahal said.

Nepal in its modern history has seen over four incidents of house dissolution out of which some were reinstated later through a court order. A court verdict on the petitions is expected in nearly a month.

After dissolving the parliament, Oli also proposed elections on April 30 and May 10, nearly two years ahead of the schedule. With latest moves being challenged in the court and fight over the election emblem and party name ongoing, the focus has centred on Apex Court and Election Commission which will take some time. (ANI)