Home BREAKING NEWS Thousands march through Kathmandu against PM dissolving Parliament

Thousands march through Kathmandu against PM dissolving Parliament

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MONIKA MALLA

In the past 30 years since 1990, no single Prime Minister of Nepal has served a full five-year term.

The country has seen the governance change hands over 25 times as none of the 14 prime ministers stayed on for the entire term.

Protestors led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal of Nepal Communist Party’s rival faction marched through the streets of the capital Kathmandu on Tuesday against the dissolution of Parliament.

The march took place even as a delegation from China is in Nepal on a four-day visit to “assess the ground situation.”

Participating in the protest march were three former Prime Ministers – Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal. Slogans were chanted against the latest “unconstitutional” move of dissolving parliament by now the now caretaker Government of Prime Minster KP Oli.

Cadres chanted slogans against Oli and President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and also against foreign intervention demanding them to stay away from the country’s internal political matters.

Earlier this week a four-member delegation led by Guo Yezhou, a vice minister in the International Department of Communist Party of China arrived in Nepal and met major political leaders of the Himalayan Nation.

“Presence of people on the streets of Kathmandu and protests all around the nation has truly proved that other political parties, civil societies, former Chief Justice, senior advocates along with other groups associated with the public have collectively denounced this step and called the step as autocratic, unconstitutional, against democracy and its norms,” Pushpa Kamal Dahal or Prachanda, the Chairman of rival Nepal Communist Party faction said while addressing the mass meeting held after the show of power on Tuesday.

Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari had dissolved the Lower House on Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s recommendation on December 20. The move has invited 12 petitions in the country’s apex court, claiming it to be “unconstitutional”, including one by Prachanda.

“If there is any kind of uneasy conditions, I want to appeal the court to understand protest and mass meeting which has commenced all around the nation. This is a symbiosis from people’s part not only our political party, but I also request them to understand it in that way,” the former Prime Minister appealed.

After dissolving the Parliament, Oli also proposed elections on April 30 and May 10, 2021, nearly two years ahead of the schedule. Seven cabinet ministers had submitted their resignations after the Parliament dissolution was ratified by the President.

Nepal’s Supreme Court on Friday issued a show-cause notice to the Oli-led government, asking it to submit a written clarification over its decision to abruptly dissolve Parliament.

Meanwhile, the other former Prime Minister and co-chair of Nepal Communist Party Madhav Kumar Nepal said that the latest move of Oli has prompted people to come onto the street fearing the rise of undemocratic forces in the nation.

“He (Oli) has taken the steps against federalism, constitution, democracy, democratic values and norms, people’s right and choice; this is why people now have hit the road,” Nepal said addressing the mass meeting.

Oli claimed of lack of support from party insiders and moves to oust him from post through impeachment as the reasons to dissolve the parliament which he exercised going beyond the constitutional rights.

Protests had since then erupted in the Himalayan Nation which in year 2017 voted for communist alliance hoping for stability as it always was marred with political changes and raging conflict.

The then Communist alliance- Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist and Communist Party of Nepal- Maoist Center had scored nearly two-third majority and formed a single government after swooping the election.

Formally cutting off relations with Oli and taking actions against him for making the latest unilateral move, the rival faction within the ruling party on December 24 decided to take to the streets. Leaders of the rival faction have claimed it to be the first phase of protest and have vowed to make it stricter and stronger as it advances.

“From today, the fire of struggle has been ignited. The sky of Kathmandu Valley is echoing with deafening slogans the voice against regression has already set off,” Jhala Nath Khanal, a former Prime Minister and Senior Leader of ruling Nepal Communist Party, Dahal-Nepal faction said addressing the mass meeting.

The leaders on Tuesday’s protest vowed to fight to reinstate the parliament and correct the unconstitutional move of Oli. Rival faction leaders said they have formed an agitation mobilization committee to launch protests in various parts of the country.

The Lower House of Nepal’s Parliament, called the ‘Pratinidhi Sabha’, has a term of five years unless dissolved earlier. There is no provision in the Constitution that allows the Prime Minister to dissolve the Parliament unilaterally.

Oli’s opponents have now turned to the Supreme Court to challenge his dissolution of Parliament denouncing it as a “constitutional coup”, Reuters reported.

Supreme Court Spokesman Bhadrakali Pokharel told Reuters that three petitions against the dissolution were “in the process of being registered”.

Dinesh Tripathi, who is one of the petitioners, said that according to the Constitution, the prime minister should allow the formation of an alternate government to ensure stability.

If the court registers the petitions it could take about two weeks for a decision, Reuters quoted legal experts as saying.

According to The Print, if the court rules Oli’s decision to be unconstitutional, he will have to resign as prime minister. If not, the interim government will continue till the next elections scheduled on 30 April and 10 May.

source  — ANI