May 8, 2021


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Supreme Court of Nepal orders reinstatement of Parliament | News of the protests

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The order came after cases filed with the court said Prime Minister Oli’s decision to dissolve the legislature last December was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court of Nepal has ordered the re-establishment of parliament, which was dissolved in December last year – a move that is likely to plunge the Himalayan nation into political crisis.

Monday’s court order came in response to several cases filed with the court accusing Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli’s decision to dissolve the legislature was unconstitutional.

The court said a meeting of the restored Parliament must be called within 13 days.

Nepal has been in political turmoil since Prime Minister Oli made the sudden decision and called for elections 18 months ahead of schedule amid the coronavirus pandemic that has hit the tourism dependent economy hard.

Oli defended the move, saying his rivals from the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (NCP) had failed to cooperate with the government in appointing officials to groups such as the national human rights and anti-human rights commissions. corruption, and in other political decisions.

The verdict means Oli, 69, who was elected in 2018 after his party’s landslide victory in the 2017 election, faces a vote of no confidence.

The court’s decision was welcomed by the opposition as well as members of the dissident faction of Oli’s own party.

Narayan Kaji Shrestha, spokesman for the faction, said the court had “protected the spirit of democracy”.

“The prime minister should resign for moral reasons, taking responsibility for his unconstitutional attempt. Otherwise, we will take the necessary decision of Parliament, ”said Shrestha.

About a hundred activists shouting slogans with their faces smeared with vermilion lit candles in the street in the heart of Kathmandu to celebrate the verdict and urged Oli to step down.

Members of a ruling Communist Party of Nepal (NCP) faction take part in a demonstration against the dissolution of the country’s parliament, in Kathmandu on February 23, 2021 [Prakash Mathema/AFP]

Internal tensions

There was a power struggle between Oli and former Maoist rebel leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is also co-chair of Oli’s party.

The two had previously agreed that they would share the five-year term between them, but Oli refused to allow the former rebel leader to take over, resulting in a party split.

Dahal supporters were among those who filed a complaint with the Supreme Court.

The dissident group has been organizing street protests against the government for weeks since the dissolution of parliament.

On February 4, a national strike was called over the crisis where at least 77 people were arrested, including a former prime minister.

Other opposition parties have repeatedly accused Oli’s government of corruption, and his administration has come under fire for its handling of the coronavirus.

Nepal has reported nearly 274,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 2,000 deaths.

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