On July 12, the Supreme Court of Nepal re-instated the Parliament that was dissolved by President Bidya Devi Bhandari in May. She was directed by the Court to appoint Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is Oli’s rival, as the new Prime Minister of Nepal. A five-member bench of Chief Justice and judges held the Parliament dissolution and said the appointment of Oli as the Prime Minister is unconstitutional.
The President dissolved the lower House of the Parliament for the second time within five months after the recommendation of Oli on May 22. Oli had failed to gain a majority and has announced snap elections for November. Altogether 146 MPS from Nepal Communist Party-Maoist Centre, Janata Samajwadi Party, a few from Oli-led Nepal Communist Party, and the Nepali Congress had filed a petition seeking the removal of Oli’s appointment as PM. They have argued that the President ignored their support to Deuba.
Oli lost the vote of confidence in the Parliament on May 10 with 93-124. He was provided another chance by the President three days later to prove his majority in a month in the Lower House of Parliament. However, Oli announced that the chances of him getting a majority are low, and an alternative needs to be explored. After that, Bhandari sought few claims of deserving candidates. But everyone was shocked when she selected Oli over Deuba.
The Supreme Court’s Decision
Oli claimed that he got the support of 153 MPs on the basis of letters from different parties, and Deuba has collected individual MPs’ signatures. But Bhandari rejected the claims of Deuba and accepted the recommendation of Oli for the Parliament dissolution at midnight of May 22-23. She appointed Oli as PM until the elections, which was going to be in November.
The Court provided the 167-page judgment saying that the President does not have discretionary powers for issues laid out in the Constitution. The bench underlined that the democracies are completely ruled by the supremacy of the Constitution, reflecting that the prerogative of the President cannot over-ride all these principles. Moreover, the bench was disappointed with the second dissolution of the Parliament as earlier it was dissolved by Oli on December 20. It was a dissolution full of failures, and it cannot be condoned, said the Court.
According to the directives of the Court, the 74-year-old Deuba, who has been a three-time Prime Minister, will again be the PM. By July 18, the House will be re-instated to hold its session. Presently, Deuba is the opposition leader in the House.