Kathmandu: Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli’s decision to dissolve Parliament has led to controversy, uproar and opposition in the Himalayan nation.
On the recommendation of Oli’s Cabinet, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari Friday midnight dissolved the House and declared snap polls for November 12 and 19.
The decision is likely to polarise the politics of Himalayan nation for the time-being, where opinions are largely divided over whether elections can take place or not.
Another looming question is whether to take part in the elections which, according to some, are carried out in an unconstitutional and undemocratic way.
“Dissolution of the House is an attempt to political coup and declaration of so-called elections is a fraud,” former Prime Minister and ruling party leader Madhav Kumar Nepal said in a statement Saturday.
Though Oli and Nepal are in the same party, the latter’s faction is running a parallel structure after serious differences erupted between the two. Oli is the chairman of Nepal Communist Party —UML.
“This is regression and this is also the attempt to rape Parliament. The President’s Office has hit back the Constitution. This is regression part two. I condemned the act of the Prime Minister and have asked all to protest against it,” said Nepal.
According to party leaders, the proximity between the President and Prime Minister is the reason behind this attempt. Oli had earlier dissolved the House on December 20, 2020, but the Supreme Court reinstated it this February 23.
Ram Chandra Poudel, a senior leader of the opposition Nepali Congress party, said Bhandari and Oli have committed a fraud against the Constitution. “At a time when opposition parties stake claim over the new government with the majority vote, the sudden dissolution of the House is an unconstitutional and undemocratic act and we will fight legal, political and constitutional battles against it,” he said.
The decision to dissolve the House came hours after a new government formation bid had failed. President Bhandari Thursday called on the formation of a new government by Friday 5 p.m. as per Article 76 (5) of the Constitution.
After failing to win the House’s confidence, Oli recommended the President to initiate the new government formation. Before the deadline ended, Oli and opposition party leader and President of Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba had stake claims over the new government with respective majority support.
While invalidating both petitions registered by Oli and Deuba, Bhandari stated that the claims made by the two failed to meet the required provisions and hence neither can form the government.
Some lawmakers have signed both sides and some took action against those who supported beyond the party line, so claims made by both Oli and Deuba did not meet the criteria, a notice issued by the President Office said late Friday.
Nepali Congress has called a meeting of opposition parties on Saturday to chart out a future plan against the dissolution and declaration of the midterm elections. Former Prime Minister and Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai said that in the midst of the alarmingly rising Covid-19 pandemic, the dissolution has plunged Nepal into an endless crisis and may lead to a full counter-revolution. “There may be no election and the federal democratic constitution may collapse, resist it,” he warned.