Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 20
Nepal was thrown into political uncertainty after its President Bidya Devi Bhandari accepted PM KP Oli’s recommendation to dissolve the House of Representatives and announced mid-term general election in April-May next year.
Street protests erupted and seven Cabinet ministers from the more hardline Prachanda-Madhav Nepal faction of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) resigned after Oli sent the dissolution recommendation to Bhandari.
The Opposition described the emergency meeting of the Oli Cabinet and Bhandari’s announcement as unconstitutional and indicated that it will move the Supreme Court.
Some Nepalese constitutional experts have weighed against Oli’s decision on grounds that as long as there is a possibility of forming the government, there is no provision to dissolve the House.
India will be watching to see if there will again be three political forces in the next elections scheduled for April. In a scenario of the NCP splitting into its old factions, the main opposition — Nepali Congress under Sher Bahadur Deuba — could become more politically relevant, said sources.
Deuba-led Nepali Congress last time had logged 35 per cent of the votes in the last Parliamentary elections, but was politically overwhelmed after the two main communist parties merged to form the NCP, said the sources.
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi had brokered peace several times by shuttling between Oli and Prachanda. But a week-long controversy over an executive order by the PM was apparently beyond her abilities. The order had tried to narrow a top committee’s decision-making to just three members instead of the existing rule of arriving at decisions through a consensus. Oli was forced to withdraw the executive order amid clear signs that his faction had lost majority support to the Prachanda-Madhav Nepal-Jhalanath Khanal group. The latest Indian emissary was BJP’s foreign affairs cell Vijay Chauthaiwale. He met Deuba as well as leaders of Madheshi parties, but not Prachanda, Nepal or Khanal, who support warmer ties with China. While India sent a string of officials – from the RAW and Indian Army Chiefs to the Foreign Secretary to Nepal-China last month dispatched its Defence Minister.
Oli’s decision unconstitutional: Experts
- The Nepal Opposition described the emergency meeting of the KP Oli Cabinet and Bhandari’s announcement as unconstitutional and indicated that it will move the Supreme Court
- Nepalese constitutional experts have weighed against Oli’s decision on grounds that as long as there is a possibility of forming the government, there is no provision to dissolve the House