Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli
Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli
File Photo

In a surprise move, Nepal's beleaguered Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Sunday recommended dissolution of the Parliament. The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the Cabinet on Sunday morning amidst a prolonged tussle for power between him and former premier and his party colleague Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda".

The move surprised the ruling Nepal Communist Party which said the decision is against the democratic norms.

President ratifies proposal to dissolve Parliament

Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari ratified the proposal of the Cabinet to dissolve the Parliament, her office said.

Upon the recommendation of the council of ministers, Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari announces that national polls will be held between April 30 and May 10 next year, the President's office said.

Earlier, an emergency Cabinet meeting chaired by Oli decided to recommend President Bidya Devi Bhandari for the dissolution of Parliament's House of Representatives.

"Today's Cabinet decided to recommend to President to dissolve the Parliament," Energy Miniter Barsaman Pun said. Prime Minister Oli reached Rashtrapati Bhawan with the decision of the council of ministers.

The House of Representatives, elected in 2017, has 275 members.

Here is all you need to know about political crisis in Nepal

The move comes as the intra-party feud reached a climax in the ruling party which has been witnessing months-long tussle between two factions.

While one faction is led by Prime Minister and Party's chairman Oli and another led by "Prachanda", also the executive chair of the party and former premier.

Prachanda faction has been urging Oli to quit the post of Prime Minister amidst growing accusation and counter-accusation between the two factions in the ruling NCP.

In June, Oli, 68, claimed that efforts were being made to oust him after his government redrew the country's political map by incorporating three strategically key Indian territories.

Oli was under pressure to withdraw an ordinance related to the Constitutional Council Act that he had issued on Tuesday. President Bidya Devi Bhandari endorsed the Ordinance the same day.

Oli had held a series of meetings with his fellow party chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Secretariat member Ram Bahadur Thapa and President Bhandari on Saturday.

Is the dissolution of Parliament constitutional?

Senior leader of the ruling NCP and former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has termed the move as unconstitutional.

Constitutional experts termed the move to dissolve Parliament as unconstitutional.

As per the provision of Nepal's Constitution, there is no provision of dissolving Parliament by the Prime Minister of a majority government.

As long as there is a possibility of forming a government from Parliament, there is no provision to dissolve the House, said constitutional expert Dinesh Tripathi.

Meanwhile, the main Opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has called an emergency meeting of the party on Sunday.

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Free Press Journal