Kathmandu, Jul 13 (PTI) Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba on Tuesday formally became the country’s Prime Minister for a record fifth time after the Supreme Court's intervention.
The 75-year-old veteran politician took the oath of office and secrecy from President Bidya Devi Bhandari during a swearing-in ceremony here.
The ceremony, initially set to be held at 6:00 pm (17:45 IST), was delayed after Deuba said he would not take the oath of office until the President revises the notice of his appointment.
A five-member Constitutional Bench led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana, in its order, had said that Deuba must be appointed the Prime Minister in line with Article 76 (5) of the Constitution.
However, the president's office has failed to disclose the article under which Deuba is being made the prime minister in the notice, The Himalayan Times reported.
After receiving some legal counsel, Deuba sent across a message to President Bhandari that he will not take the oath until the error is rectified, the paper said.
The oath taking ceremony took place two hours later than scheduled, at around 8:15 pm, after the president's office issued a revised notice.
Four new ministers - two each from Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-Maoist Centre - also took oath of office.
NC's Balkrishna Khand and Gyanendra Bahadur Karki have been sworn-in as Home Minister and Minister for Law and Parliamentary affairs, respectively.
Pampha Bhusal and Janardan Sharma from Maoist Centre have been appointed Minister for Energy and Minister for Finance, respectively.
Chief Justice Rana, CPN-Maoist Centre chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' and senior leader of CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal were also present on the occasion.
This is the fifth time that Deuba is returning to power as the Prime Minister of Nepal.
He has replaced incumbent 69-year-old K P Sharma Oli, who has accused the apex court of 'deliberately' passing the verdict in favour of the Opposition parties.
Earlier in the day, Bhesh Raj Adhikary, personal secretary of President Bhandari, told reporters that 'In line with the apex court's verdict, President Bhandari named Deuba as the Prime Minister”.
Previously, Deuba served as Nepal's Prime Minister four times from June 2017–February 2018, June 2004–February 2005, July 2001–October 2002 and September 1995–March 1997.
Deuba is required to seek a vote of confidence from the House of Representatives within 30 days of his appointment as the Prime Minister, as per the constitutional provisions.
The Supreme Court on Monday overturned Prime Minister Oli’s May 21 decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and ordered the appointment of Deuba as prime minister.
It said that Oli’s claim to the post of prime minister was unconstitutional.
Reinstating the House yet again -- the court had restored the House earlier on February 23 after Oli dissolved it on December 20 -- the bench ordered to make arrangements for holding the House meeting by 5 PM on July 18.
In its order, the constitutional bench said President Bhandari’s decision to reject Deuba’s claim to form a new government was unconstitutional.
Oli, who was heading a minority government after losing a trust vote in the House, has repeatedly defended his move to dissolve the House of Representatives, saying some leaders of his party were attempting to form a 'parallel government'. PTI SBP CPS ZH AKJ ZH ZH