Nepal’s Prime Minister Oli gets Parliament dissolved

Nepal’s embattled Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Sunday sprang a surprise on his rivals and got the President to dissolve Parliament, a controversial move amidst a prolonged tussle for power between him and former premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda within the ruling dispensation.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved Parliament’s House of Representatives at Oli’s recommendation and announced mid-term general election in April-May, a decision termed unconstitutional, impulsive and autocratic by the Opposition and dissidents in the Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

Earlier in the day, an emergency meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Oli decided to recommend the President for the dissolution of Parliament, a senior Standing Committee member of the NCP told PTI.
The first phase of the mid-term election will be held on April 30 on May 10 for the second phase, the Rashtrapati Bhawan said.

The 275-member House of Representatives, which is the lower house of Parliament, was elected in 2017 for a five-year term. The upper house is the National Assembly.

The move comes as the intra-party feud reached climax in the ruling NCP which has been witnessing months long tussle between two factions, one led by 68-year-old Oli and party’s chairman and another led by 66-year-old Prachanda, also the executive chair of the party and former premier.

Expressing dissatisfaction over Oli’s move to dissolve the House, seven ministers from his Cabinet resigned in protest.

The seven ministers, belonging to the Prachanda faction, announced their resignation in a joint statement issued during a press conference here.

The Nepali Congress (NC), the main Opposition in Parliament, said that Oli’s recommendation to dissolve the House was against the provisions and spirit of the Constitution, and the party will strongly oppose the move.

We have taken this move as Oli’s final attempt to fulfil his authoritarian desire, the NC said in a statement issued by party’s spokesman Bishwa Prakash Sharma.

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