Parties, leaders call for ousting PM, impeaching Prez

KATHMANDU, May 21: President Bhandari initiated a process to form a government as per Article 76(5) of the constitution after PM KP Sharma Oli decided not to seek a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives. However, reactions from constitutional experts, political leaders and parties were swift, and harsh against the move by PM Oli and President Bhandari. Constitutional experts have termed the move by President Bhandari a crime against the people and the constitution. Supreme Court advocate Om Prakash Aryal said, “PM KP Sharma Oli should be tried for this crime. This is against the people and the constitution.” Similarly, constitutional expert Bhimarjun Acharya says the PM is inching toward dissolving parliament.

Nepali Congress has said the president’s letter is “ undemocratic and unconstitutional”. The party has called for a meeting of its members in Budhanilkantha today morning. Senior Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel said the move by President Bhandari is aimed at dissolving the House and ultimately destroying the constitution. NC spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma said the President Bhandari and PM Oli are conspiring to ‘skip the constitution and make the parliament defunct’. NC leader Dr Shekhar Koirala termed the move “a bid to trash the constitution and take the country to conflict”. Another leader Gagan Thapa said, “It is time to bid farewell to PM Oli and impeach President Bhandari”.

Prime Minister KP Sharma was suddenly on the offensive on Thursday evening when a single bench of Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana ruled that seven former Maoist center leaders cannot continue as ministers. The Court termed their appointments as unconstitutional. Then came the results of a National Assembly by-election in Bagmati Province. Ram Bahadur Thapa was soundly defeated by Dr Khim Lal Devkota. Dr Devkota secured a total of 5,088 weightage of votes to Thapa’s 4014. PM Oli was beaten in his own game by senior leaders within his party. Senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal had publicly stated his inability to support Thapa in the election. The damage was done.

In the cabinet meeting Thursday evening, PM Oli reportedly was ‘not in a good mood’. He told his ministers that there was no way to receive a vote of confidence in the present political landscape. Therefore, he decided to ask the president to initiate a process to form a new government as per the Article 76 (5).

The initial reaction from major political forces have been swift, and harsh. Major political parties see the move on Thursday by PM Oli and President Bhandari a clear indication of imminent dissolution of parliament, and an announcement of snap elections for November.

-Republica

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