Overturning Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s May 21 decision to dissolve the House of Representatives, the Supreme Court of Nepal has ordered President Bidya Devi Bhandari to appoint the President of Nepal Congress party Sher Bahadur Deuba the new prime minister.
A five-member Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court on Monday has asked the President to complete the appointment before 5 pm on Tuesday.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari for the second time in five months had dissolved the 275-member lower house on May 22. The decision was taken at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli and had announced snap elections on November 12 and November 19.
However, the SC’s ruling came after hearing 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 as the prime minister.
The five-member bench is headed by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana and includes Justices Deepak Kumar Karki, Mira Khadka, Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai.
As per Article 76(5) and with the support of 149 lawmakers of the 275-member Parliament, Deuba had staked the claim to form the government. His claim, however, was rejected by the President remarking that it was ‘insufficient.
Deuba within 30 days of his appointment, will have to win the vote of confidence as per Article 76 (4) of Nepal’s constitution.
The power struggle within the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) had led to the dissolving of the House by President Bhandari in December last year.