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Setback to PM Oli as Nepal SC reinstates House of Representatives


President Bhandari had also announced that polls should be held during April-May.

In a major setback to the government of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, the Supreme Court of Nepal on Tuesday reinstated the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Nepalese Parliament. A special constitutional bench of the Supreme Court, which declared the verdict in response to 13 writ petitions, ordered that the 275-member House should convene within 13 days.

The development comes two months after President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the lower house, following the recommendation from Prime Minister Oli-led cabinet. President Bhandari had also announced that polls should be held during April-May.

The move to dissolve the House of Representatives came after Mr. Oli had been challenged by his colleagues in the Standing Committee of the ruling Nepal Communist Party with a possible no confidence motion being planned by the rival faction.

The judgment by the bench, led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JBR, has observed that the issue is political in nature but the court had to deal with it in the interest of upholding the Constitution of Nepal.

The verdict also indicated that political decisions should be taken within the boundaries and limits laid down by the Constitution.

Former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who has been agitating against the dissolution of the House, termed Tuesday’s order as “historic”.

“The historic verdict from the Supreme Court of Nepal is a victory of the people of Nepal which will safeguard democracy in Nepal,” said Mr. Nepal in a statement thanking the people, and the Nepalese media for supporting the democratic process. Nepali Congress leader Shekhar Koirala has said Prime Minister Oli does not have any “moral right” to stay on in his post after Tuesday’s decision from the Supreme Court.

Co-chair of Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ who led the move against Mr. Oli in the Standing Committee of the party, said there is no scope of reaching an agreement with the Prime Minister under the current circumstances.

Mr. Oli’s decision had split the Nepal Communist Party down the middle, with one of the wrote petitions in the Supreme Court filed by the Chief Whip of the party, Dev Prasad Gurung.

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