KATHMANDU, July 12: Supreme Court has overturned the decision of President Bidya Devi Bhandari to dissolve parliament at the recommendation of Prime Minister K P Oli.
Issuing its final verdict on the writ petitions filed against the dissolution of parliament, the apex court also passed a mandamus in the name of the Office of President to appoint Sher Bahadur Deuba as new prime minister of the country by Tuesday. Lawyers representing Prime Minister Oli had earlier had insisted that the apex court cannot issue mandamus order to appoint Deuba as new prime minister.
Separately, the apex court also ordered summoning fresh session of House of Representatives at 5 PM on July 18. Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana also informed that the five-member Constitutional Bench has concluded that party whip does not apply when lawmakers take part in the voting to elect new Prime Minister as per Article 76(5) of the constitution.
With this, the second attempt of Prime Minister Oli to dissolve the parliament after he fell in the minority in parliament.
Earlier the 275-member lower House of parliament had been dissolved on December 20, which was, however, overturned by the Supreme Court’s February 23 order.
After failing to secure a trust vote on May 10, PM Oli was appointed as the Prime Minister as per Article 76(3) in his capacity as the parliamentary party leader of the largest party in the House.
Oli, however, opted not to seek a confidence motion from the House as per Article 76 (4) and wrote to President Bidya Devi Bhandari to initiate a new government process as per Article 76 (5).
President Bhandari, on May 20, asked the members of the House to stake their claim to the new government by 5PM the other day. Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba and PM Oli himself laid claim to the prime ministerial position as per Article 76 (5).
Deuba claimed to have the support of 146 lawmakers while Oli said he had the backing of 153 members of parliament.
President Bhandari, however, dismissed both the claims and dissolved the House on May 22 as recommended by the meeting of the Council of Ministers.
Following the dissolution, more than two dozen writ petitions were filed seeking the restoration of the House and issuing an order that Deuba be appointed as the new Prime Minister.