In a major political development and a setback for Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, the country’s Supreme Court decided to reinstate the House of Representatives that had been dissolved. The five-member constitutional bench led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana also ordered Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari to appoint Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba as the new Prime Minister by 5 pm Tuesday.
This is the second time in about five months that the Court intervened to reinstate the House.
However, Deuba would be required to win the vote of confidence within 30 days of his appointment.
“The Constitutional Bench has issued the writ as per the demands of the writ petitioners,” the Kathmandu Post quoted Bhadrakali Pokhrel, spokesperson of the Supreme Court as saying.
In the 275 member Nepalese Parliament, Deuba, with the support of 149 members, had staked the claim to form the government on May 24 under Article 76(5). However, Bhandari refused Deuba's claim, which helped Oli retail power. The Nepali Congress hit back calling it “unconstitutional” and “immoral” and that the President and Prime Minister were misusing the Constitution.
On May 22, Bhandari dissolved the lower House for the second time and announced fresh elections in November, after which about 30 petitions had been filed against the government.
Nepal has been going through political turmoil since December last year.
In December 20, at the recommendation of Oli, Bhandari dissolved the House. She had then announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10.
However, On February 23, the Supreme Court reinstated the dissolved House which came as a blow to Oli.
Sources said that China would be closely watching the developments in Nepal. Oli, in particular, has been trying to warm up to China.