Nepal’s Supreme Court orders appointment of Sher Bahadur Deuba as Prime Minister

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The Nepal Supreme Court on Monday reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives and ordered the appointment of Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba as Prime minister within two days. 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 TOI the order is unexpected and contrary to fundamental principles of Constitution.

“Wrong and unjustifiable but will abide by it,” he said.

Nepal’s 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.

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.

Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 last year after President Bhandari dissolved the House and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10 at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli, amidst a tussle for power within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
In February, the apex court reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives even as Prime Minister Oli was preparing for snap polls.

Oli repeatedly defended his move to dissolve the House of Representatives, saying some leaders of his party were attempting to form a “parallel government”.

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