New Delhi: Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the country’s parliament on the recommendation of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli following a political stalemate over an executive order issued last week.
Nepal’s House of Representatives, elected in 2017, has 275 members. The next general election in the Himalayan country was due in 2022. President Bhandari announced that the national polls will now be held between April 30 and May 10 of 2021, a media report said citing a statement from the President’s office.
“PM Oli was under pressure to withdraw an ordinance related to the Constitutional Council Act that he had issued and got endorsed by President Bidya Devi Bhandari the same day,” The Kathmandu Post newspaper reported.
Following the Prime Minister’s recommendation to dissolve the House, and President Bhandari’s nod for the same, seven of his ministers resigned from the Cabinet.
The ordinance to amend the Constitutional Council Act was introduced on December 15, and allegedly undermined the principle of checks and balances. It allowed the Constitutional Council to convene a meeting if a majority of its members attended it. PM Oli then held such a meeting on December 15 evening itself, according to The Kathmandu Post.
The Constitutional Council is headed by the prime minister and includes the chief justice, speaker, chairperson of the National Assembly, leader of the opposition, and the deputy speaker as its members. It recommends key appointments to various constitutional bodies.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Nepal Communist Party said he had lost majority support, according to a report. “The prime minister has lost the majority in the parliamentary party, central committee and the secretariat of the party,” said Bishnu Rijal, a Central Committee member of the NPC, the report said. (NDTV)