Nepal's SC orders appointment of Sher Bahadur Deuba as PM
Ending a months-long political deadlock, Nepal's Supreme Court on Monday ordered the reinstatement of the dissolved House of Representatives. The apex court also asked President Bidya Devi Bhandari to appoint the chief of the Nepali Congress party, Sher Bahadur Deuba, as the Prime Minister within two days. The court's order comes as a setback for Nepal's beleaguered PM KP Sharma Oli.
SC reinstated dissolved House for second time in five months
Nepal's Supreme Court was hearing petitions challenging the President's decision to dissolve the House of Representatives on May 22 on Oli's recommendation. A five-member constitutional bench had concluded hearings on a batch of over 30 petitions in the matter last week. A writ petition—filed by 146 members of the House—had also sought the reinstatement of the Parliament and Deuba's appointment as PM.
President first dissolved House last December on Oli's recommendation
President Bhandari had dissolved the 275-member Lower House of Nepal's Parliament on Oli's recommendation on December 20 last year. Bhandari then ordered fresh elections on April 30 and May 10 as the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) faced infighting. On February 23, the SC had reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives, even as Oli was gearing up for the polls.
President dissolved House again in May
President Bhandari had dissolved the House again on May 22 on Oli's recommendation. Elections were ordered on November 12 and November 19. The SC bench—led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana and comprising four other senior-most judges—has once again reinstated the dissolved House.
'Judiciary cannot play the roles of executive and legislative'
Oli has defended the dissolution of the House. Earlier, he had submitted in court that the judiciary cannot appoint a PM as it cannot undertake the function of legislative and executive of the state. Stating that the court's duty is to interpret the constitution and existing laws, Oli had argued, "The appointment of a Prime Minister is absolutely a political and an executive process."
Polling body had announced election dates last week
Amid this political chaos and instability, Nepal's Election Commission had announced the schedule for mid-term elections last week. Now, it remains to be seen how the poll body proceeds further after the apex court's verdict.