Kathmandu, May 22
Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House of Representatives on Saturday for the second time in five months and announced snap elections in November, rejecting both embattled Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and the Opposition alliance’s claims to form a government, a move that will be legally challenged yet again.
PM Oli seeks ‘fair and fraud-free’ polls
The President announced in an early morning statement that the House of Representatives has been dissolved in accordance with Article 76(7) of the Constitution, ending a day of high-voltage political drama in the Himalayan nation, amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Article, a date to conduct another election within six months must also be fixed. The President has called early elections pursuant to the Article, the dates being set for November 12 and 19. The announcement came after Prime Minister Oli in his last deal-sealing move on Friday midnight recommended the Office of the President to dissolve the 275-member House and announce dates for early elections. Earlier, Oli and Opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba had staked separate claims to premiership, both of which were rejected by the President, citing that none had adequate grounds for winning a vote of confidence.
“It has been noted that Prime Minister Oli counted those lawmakers as his supporters who extended support to the Opposition alliance, whereas the UML and JSP-N have forwarded letters stating action would be taken against those who had gone against the party to endorse the Opposition’s claim,” Bhandari said in a statement late on Friday.
The President’s announcement plunged Nepal into further political crisis. — PTI