KATHMANDU, July 2: The ruling CPN-UML has directed the party’s lawmakers of the dissolved parliament to withdraw their support to the writ petition filed by Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba at the Supreme Court.
The party’s Central Committee meeting, which was boycotted by CC members close to senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, directed 23 former lawmakers to withdraw their signatures within the next two days. The apex court is due to issue a final hearing on the case early next week.
The CC meeting held at the prime minister’s official residence in Baluwatar endorsed the proposal directing 23 lawmakers to withdraw their support to Deuba’s writ petition before the court could pass its verdict on the petition. Deuba’s writ petition has demanded that the apex court overturn the decision of President Bidya Devi Bhandari to dissolve parliament and issue a mandamus to President Bhandari to appoint Deuba as the new prime minister.
Earlier, NC President Deuba submitted the signatures of 149 lawmakers to President Bhandari, demanding he be appointed the new prime minister as per Article 76 (5) of the constitution. However, President Bhandari trashed Deuba’s claim and dissolved parliament instead at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli.
Deuba, who is backed by CPN (Maoist Center) and Upendra Yadav-led faction of Janata Samajbadi Party and Rastriya Janamorcha Party then knocked at the doors of the apex court.
Although the party’s CC meeting directed the lawmakers to withdraw their signatures, leaders close to senior leader Nepal said that they are not in a position to withdraw their support. They have maintained that the CC meeting called on Sunday was the continuation of the 10th General Convention Organizing Committee meeting and not the party’s Central Committee meeting.
Chairman Oli talked to leader Nepal over the telephone on Friday morning to resolve their differences. As their differences were not resolved, leaders close to Nepal reached Baluwatar to hold talks with Oli. Sources said the meeting could not yield any result.
Meanwhile, UML Vice Chairman Bam Dev Gautam, who had earlier stayed neutral, attended the CC meeting held in Baluwatar on Friday. While the Nepal-led faction has argued that Oli had not yet reinstated party committees that existed prior to the unification with the Maoist Center, Gautam has said that Oli has taken a positive step toward reviving the party’s committees elected through the ninth general convention.