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Nepal SC reinstates house, orders appointment of Sher Bahadur Deuba as PM

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Kathmandu: Rejecting Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s decision to dissolve the House, the Nepal Supreme Court on July 12 issued an interim order to instead reinstate it and ordered Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari to appoint opposition Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba as the new premier with in two days.

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As per the court ruling, Deuba, who had presented his majority during the election process on May 24, will be appointed as the new Prime Minister by July 13 evening. This is the second time that the apex court has decided in favour of reinstating the House during Oli’s tenure.

The five judge bench led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana had concluded hearings in the case last week.

Reacting to SC’s decision CPN-UML spokesperson and former foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali told media the order is unexpected and contrary to fundamental principles of Constitution.

A five-member constitutional bench led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana issued the ruling stating that President Bhandari’s decision to dissolve the House of Representatives upon a recommendation of Oli was ‘an unconstitutional act’. The bench further ordered the summoning of a fresh session of the House on July 18.

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Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 last year after President Bidya Bhandari had dissolved the lower house for the second time in five months on May 22 and announced snap elections on November 12 and November 19 based on PM KP Sharma Oli’s recommendation. However, the house was reinstated later on February 25, this year by the Supreme Court.

As many as 30 petitions were filed at the Supreme Court against the move. A petition filed by the opposition parties’ alliance had demanded the reinstatement of the Lower House of Parliament and appointment of Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba as the prime minister.

The Constitutional Bench of the apex court concluded the hearings on the writ petitions on July 5. A four-member amicus curiae also presented its opinion on the House dissolution case.

It remains to be seen how the Election Commission proceeds after this verdict from the Supreme Court. The poll body had last week announced the schedule for the upcoming midterm polls.

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