• Monday, Oct 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:13 am

Nepal PM's 'constitutional coup' challenged in court

  • Published at 05:12 pm December 21st, 2020
People take part in a protest after the parliament was dissolved and general elections were announced
People take part in a protest after the parliament was dissolved and general elections were announced to be held in April and May, more than a year ahead of schedule, in Kathmandu, Nepal December 20, 2020 Reuters.

‘Under the constitution, the prime minister has no prerogative to dissolve parliament’

Opponents of Nepal's prime minister turned to the Supreme Court on Monday to challenge his dissolution of parliament and the calling of an election, denouncing it as a "constitutional coup."

Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli's dissolution of parliament on Sunday raises the prospect of months of political turmoil in the Himalayan country as it battles the novel coronavirus.

Seven government ministers stepped down after Oli's dissolution saying it was a violation of the "popular mandate" given to them in a 2017 general election. Protesters burned effigies of him in the streets.

Supreme Court Spokesman Bhadrakali Pokharel said three petitions against the dissolution were "in the process of being registered."

"Under the constitution, the prime minister has no prerogative to dissolve parliament," lawyer Dinesh Tripathi, who is one of the petitioners, told Reuters.

"It's a constitutional coup. I'm seeking a stay order from the court."

The president on Sunday set April 30 and May 10 as dates for the general election - more than a year ahead of schedule - on the advice of Oli's cabinet.

The prime minister has recently lost support within his own Nepal Communist Party (NCP), with some members accusing him of sidelining the party in government decisions and shunning members when making key appointments.

They have called on him to step down. His supporters say that in a democracy, a new election is the best way out of a crisis like this. 

The strife comes as Nepal, one of the world's poorest countries, battles the coronavirus.

Nepal has had 253,772 infections and 1,788 deaths and the pandemic has battered its tourism-and-remittance-dependent economy.

Tripathi said that under the constitution, the prime minister should allow the formation of an alternate government to ensure stability in a country that has seen 26 prime ministers in 30 years.

If the court registers the petitions it could take about two weeks for a decision, legal experts say.

Neighbours China and India, which jostle for influence in Nepal, have not publicly commented on the upheaval.

51
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail