Amid ruling party infighting, Nepal President dissolves Parliament
Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Sunday dissolved the House of Representatives following the recommendation of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. The decision comes as Oli had been facing pressure from rival factions of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) to withdraw a controversial ordinance related to the Constitutional Council Act issued earlier this week on Tuesday. Here are more details.
An emergency Cabinet meeting, chaired by PM Oli Sunday morning, decided to recommend President Bidya Devi Bhandari for the dissolution of Parliament's House of Representatives, the senior Standing Committee member of NCP told the news agency PTI. Oli then reached the Rashtrapati Bhawan with the decision of the council of ministers. The recommendation was then endorsed by the President, the Kathmandu Post reported.
However, constitutional experts have argued that the Nepalese Constitution does not allow a majority PM to recommend House dissolution. The NCP has over 170 seats in the 275-member House of Representatives. Senior NCP leader and former PM Madhav Kumar Nepal also termed the move unconstitutional. Reportedly, Bhandari also approved the Cabinet's recommendation for holding general elections on April 30 and May 10 next year.
The decision comes as the ruling NCP has been witnessing an intra-party feud for months. The NCP's feud climaxed this week as PM Oli faced backlash over the new ordinance to amend the Constitutional Council Act, which allegedly undermined the principle of checks and balances. The ordinance allowed the council to convene a meeting with the attendance of a majority of its members.
A faction of the NCP has opposed Oli's administration, and have been urging the PM to quit. The faction is led by former PM and NCP co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, commonly known by his nom de guerre "Prachanda." NCP Central Committee member Bishnu Rijal also claimed that Oli had lost the majority in the Parliamentary party, central committee and the secretariat.