Cabinet recommends that President Bhandari prorogue the HouseProrogation of Parliament means Oli will be able to avoid a vote of no-confidence, but it will also allow him to introduce an ordinance to split the party.
A Cabinet meeting has decided to recommend President Bidya Devi Bhandari to prorogue the ongoing session of the Parliament by Thursday evening, according to a Cabinet minister.
The Cabinet can recommend prorogation but the ultimate authority rests with the president.
Ahead of the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had held a one-on-one meeting with Bhandari. Sources in Baluwatar told the Post that Oli and Bhandari had discussed proroguing the Parliament so it is likely that the president will announce the end of the Parliament’s budget session by this evening.
For Oli, who has come under intense pressure to resign as both prime minister and party chair, Parliamentary prorogation would mean that he would not have to face a floor test.
A majority of the ruling Nepal Communist Party’s senior leadership, Secretariat and Standing Committee has united behind party chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal to call for Oli’s resignation as both party chair and prime minister. Oli has been scrambling to find a way out, meeting with Bhandari twice on Tuesday, rallying his loyalists on Wednesday and meeting with Bhandari again on Thursday before the Cabinet meeting.
Prorogation of the Parliament means that Oli will be able to avoid a vote of no-confidence from his own lawmakers, at least in the immediate, but it will also allow Oli to introduce an ordinance, which is only possible when Parliament is not in session.
Earlier in April, Oli had introduced a controversial ordinance that was aimed at making it easier for parties to split. The ordinance was withdrawn after vociferous criticism. With most of the Nepal Communist Party leadership allied against him, many believe that Oli could reintroduce the ordinance and split the party.
Oli, however, is not out of danger yet.
Article 93 (3) of the constitution says that even when the House is not in session, one-fourth of the total number of its members can write a petition to convene a session or meeting. The President shall then specify the date and time and the House of Representatives shall meet as specified.
On Thursday morning, Dahal had held a meeting with leaders from the Oli faction, conveying a message that Oli should abide by the party’s decisions.
The meeting was held as part of a strategy the Dahal faction had devised at a late Wednesday meeting in Jhamsikhel, where leaders had decided that Oli should be forced to step down if he refuses to abide by the party system.