Oli threatens action against 'pro-monarchy activities'

Published On: August 19, 2019 06:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Says he will serve full five-year term as prime minister

KATHMANDU, Aug 19: Echoing his co-chair in the party, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister KP Oli has threatened action against former King Gyanendra and his supporters for their "unconstitutional activities".

Addressing the House of Representatives on Sunday, Prime Minister Oli said that the government could use force against them if it feels that their activities pose threat to the democratic system.

Oli's statement comes at a time when former King Gyanendra is in Thailand with his family members for nearly a month-long visit and is expected to hold meetings with some Hindu leaders. Prior to leaving for Thailand, the ousted king was busy in interacting with the general public during his religious trips to various parts of the country. Lately, former crown princess Himani Shah has increased her social mobility through her charity.

Just two weeks ago, Dahal, former prime minister and co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) had threatened to expel the former king from the Nagarjuna residence provided by the government, if the latter "continued political activities.".

In his address to the House on Sunday, Oli didn't mention the name of the former king but said that some forces have been working to weaken the democratic system and are trying to spread frustration among the public. “We still have forces representing the old system. Democracy is not the system that suppresses voices against it. But those supporting the old system are openly carrying out their activities by taking advantage of democracy,” said Oli.

He further added that the government won't tolerate such activities if it felt any threat to the present system. “The government has been tolerating these activities because the government has not doubted them so far. If the government feels the current system is under threat, then it will do the needful to safeguard the constitution, the system, democracy and republic in the country,”

Recalling political movements that ousted the monarchy, Oli warned the pro-monarchy forces in the country "not to dream of reinstating the system from the grave." Urging the political parties not to doubt his commitment to democracy, Oli said the government, however, wouldn't tolerate any attempt to topple the system in the name of protesting against the government.

Prime Minister Oli also appealed to all political parties to work together to strengthen and safeguard the democratic system "achieved through the struggles of the political parties and the people."

Dismissing speculations that he would quit the prime minister's post to make way for Dahal, Oli said that he will serve the full five-year term as prime minister.

“There is no one in the world who doesn't have to lose his post. Even the monarchs lost their posts. But I want to urge all those who want to see me quit that I won't continue as prime miniter after the next elections,” he said.

Oli appears weak while addressing parliament

Though concerns have been expressed over the health of Prime Minister Oli as he is set to visit Singapore again -- just some 10 says after returning from the island country following a health checkup -- Oli didn't mention anything about his health in his address to parliament on Sunday.

But his voice was shaking and it appeared that he was having difficulty breathing during the first few minutes of his 40-minute address to parliament. After his address, Oli informed the speaker and deputy speaker of the House that he has decided to visit Singapore on Thursday again for a follow-up treatment. Oli had returned home on Monday after spending nine days in Singapore for his health check-up. But concerns were raised in the country after he couldn't chair the meeting of his party on Thursday, citing health difficulties. However, refuting doubts over his health status, OIi claimed that he was fit and doctors have assured him that he would live for the next 20 years.

After Prime Minister Oli didn't mention anything about his health, NC lawmaker Minendra Rijal raised the issue, indirectly. "I have forgotten to ask any question to the prime minister because I felt too joyous to find him healthy,” said Rijal after Oli's address to the House.

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