Nepali Congress welcomes Supreme Court verdict

Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba will be sworn in as Prime Minister on July 13, 2021. File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The verdict of the Supreme Court of Nepal to remove Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has revitalised Nepali Congress and the constitutional democracy of Nepal, vice-president of the party Bimlendra Nidhi told The Hindu on Monday. Following the Supreme Court’s verdict, Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba will be sworn in by Tuesday evening, said Mr. Nidhi.

“We welcome the verdict of the Honourable Supreme Court as it has given a clear political alternative before the people of Nepal ending the rule of PM Oli. It also shows that President Bidhya Devi Bhandari had erred by denying the opportunity of a floor test to the claim of Shri Deuba to form the government earlier after the reinstatement of the lower house of Parliament,” said Mr. Nidhi speaking over the phone from Kathmandu.

Nepali politics, said Mr. Nidhi, had been stuck with the rule of Mr. Oli but now the clear verdict of the Supreme Court has given a new direction to the country. Following the verdict, Mr. Deuba will have to be sworn in as the Prime Minister of Nepal within a day. “Within 30 days, Deuba will have to prove the majority of his government in Parliament,” said Mr. Nidhi.

The verdict was particularly critical of PM Oli and President Bhandari and held both of them guilty of violating constitutional norms while dealing with the political crisis that began last December 20 when President Bhandari dissolved the lower house of the Nepalese Parliament after being advised by PM Oli-led Cabinet.

Mr. Oli took the drastic step after months of feud within the Standing Committee of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). Subsequently, the Pratinidhi Sabha was reinstated by the Supreme Court on February 23. Mr. Oli had earlier called for election between April 30 and May 10. However, in the midst of protracted political tug of war, two rival factions led by Mr. Oli and Mr. Deuba claimed majority in Parliament on May 21 midnight.

President Bhandari dismissed Mr. Deuba’s claim of having the majority and instead supported PM Oli who again dissolved the lower house and promised election in November. On Monday, the Supreme Court of Nepal said President Bhandari had acted against the Constitution by not giving a chance to Mr. Deuba to prove his numbers. Mr. Deuba has said he will work with “all sides” for the benefit of the country. Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai also congratulated Mr. Deuba and thanked the Supreme Court of Nepal for the landmark move.

“Reactionaries should be punished,” said Dr. Bhattarai who had been supportive of a national government with the help of Nepali Congress, and the Janta Samajwadi Party (JSP). Similar remarks also came from former PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” who had led the first round of rebellion inside the standing committee of NCP.

“It had become the urgent necessity to safeguard constitutional values. In this context this verdict is a major historic landmark,” said Mr. Prachanda.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 6:13:14 AM |

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