Court orders President to appoint Congress leader Deuba prime minister by 5pm Tuesday

Kathmandu, July 12: The Supreme Court on Monday overturned Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s May 21 decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and ordered President Bidya Devi Bhandari to appoint Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba the new prime minister as per Article 76 (5) of the constitution.

The court has ordered the President to appoint Deuba as the prime minister by 5 pm Tuesday and summon the House of Representatives by 5pm July 18.

“The Constitutional Bench has issued the writ as per the demands of the writ petitioners,” said Bhadrakali Pokhrel, spokesperson of the Supreme Court.

The ruling came on Monday on 30 writ petitions, including one filed by 146 lawmakers of the House including Deuba demanding that the court issue a mandamus order to the President to appoint Deuba prime minister.

Deuba had staked the claim to form the government as per the Article 76(5) with the support of 149 lawmakers of the 275-member Parliament but President Bidya Devi Bhandari had invalidated the claim, along with that made by Oli saying both claims were ‘insufficient’.

The five-member Constitutional Bench is led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana and includes Justices Deepak Kumar Karki, Mira Khadka, Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai.

Deuba will have to win the vote of confidence as per Article 76 (4) of the constitution within 30 days of his appointment.

Whether he will win the vote or not will depend on the continued support of the Madhav Kumar Nepal faction of the UML. Of the 146 lawmakers that had filed the writ petition on May 24, 23 belong to the Nepal faction of the UML.

On Sunday, a 10-member task force of the two factions of the UML, the other led by Oli, had reached a 10-point agreement. One of the points of the agreement says, “On the House dissolution case that is being examined by the Supreme Court, we will move ahead by following institutional decisions and the spirit of party unity.”

-Kathmandu Post

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