Amid political turmoil, Nepal’s Supreme Court on Tuesday, 24 February ordered the reinstatement of the country’s Parliament, which was dissolved by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in December last year, following infighting within the government.
The court ordered that a meeting of the reinstated Parliament must be called within 13 days.
The order came after multiple cases were filed in the Supreme Court that Oli’s decision to dissolve the Parliament in December 2020 was ‘unilateral and unconstitutional’.
WHY IS THIS BAD NEWS FOR OLI?
The order comes as a blow to Oli’s decision of dissolution of the Parliament, as he does not have a majority in a reinstated House, according to Hindustan Times.
WHY WERE THE DIFFERECES IN THE RULING COALITION?
The government was a coalition of two left parties of the country — the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) led by Oli and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), led by former PM Pushp Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.
It was reportedly decided that the two leaders will serve as joint chairmen of the ‘ruling’ party under an electoral alliance and that both would hold the position of the prime minister for a period of two-and-a-half years each.
According to reports, the deal never got ratified as Oli avoided taking it to the coalition’s General Council, which has been the primary reason for Oli’s rift with Dahal and two other prominet leaders of the coalition — Madhav Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal.
The differences led to several within the government demanding resignation of PM Oli since early 2020.
WHEN AND WHY WAS THE PARLIAMENT DISSOLVED?
In December 2020, an ordinance brought by the government over the country’s Constitutional council became the final nail in the coffin, and led to severe backlash from within the ruling coalition.
As per the provisions of Nepal’s Constitutional Council Act, five of the six members must be present for the meeting to convene.
However, the ordinance brought on 15 December and promulgated the same day by President Bidya Devi Bhandari, stated that ‘majority’ of the Council members can hold the meeting in absence of other members.
The ordinance led to strong objection and criticism from the Opposition and the factions within the government, most of which echoed the demand for Oli’s regination even more strongly.
On 20 December, an emergency meeting of the Cabinet was called where Oli decided to recommend to the President the dissolution of the federal parliament. The President approved the demand on the same day.
UNREST IN NEPAL
Since Parliament's dissolution in December, there have been regular street protests against Oli by tens of thousands of people in Kathmandu and other cities.
Several meetings of all the factions have taken place since the dissolution, even as the political crisis in the country sees no end in the near future despite the Supreme Court’s verdict.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times.)