Kathmandu, March 1
Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Monday summoned a session of the House of Representatives on March 7, days after the apex court reinstated the lower house in a landmark verdict that annulled embattled Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s “unconstitutional” decision to dissolve it.
President Bhandari called for the commencement of House on recommendation of Government of Nepal, in accordance with Article 93 (1) of the Constitution of Nepal, according to a notice issued by the President’s Office on Monday.
As per the notice, the 275-member lower house will begin at 4 pm on the slated date.
The presidential order to summon the House meeting follows the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Prime Minister Oli’s move to dissolve the House on December 20.
A five-member Constitutional Bench led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher last week annulled the Oli government’s “unconstitutional” decision to dissolve the lower house of Parliament.
The court had ordered the government to summon the House session within the next 13 days.
Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 after President Bhandari dissolved the House and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10 at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli, amidst a tussle for power within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
Oli’s move to dissolve the House sparked protests from a large section of the NCP led by his rival Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, also a co-chair of the ruling party.
As many as 13 writ petitions including the one by the ruling party’s Chief Whip Dev Prasad Gurung were filed in the apex court seeking the restoration of the lower house of parliament.
In its ruling, the apex court termed the dissolution of the House as “unconstitutional”.
The ruling party suffered a vertical split following Oli’s decision to dissolve the lower house.
Prime Minister Oli on Sunday challenged the splinter faction led by ‘Prachanda’ to remove him from the top post if he can.
“Remove me if you can. If I am ousted, I’ll emerge victorious with a two-thirds majority in the next election,” 69-year-old Oli said.
Prachanda has been making efforts to garner support from the opposition Nepali Congress and Janata Samajbadi parties in an apparent bid to oust Oli from power.
Oli’s press advisor Surya Thapa last week said the prime minister will not resign immediately and implement the Supreme Court’s verdict against him by facing Parliament.
Oli is under pressure to step down following the court verdict. — PTI