In an about-turn, hours after Constitutional Council meeting is called, it is called off againThe calling off of the meeting comes after Oli meets Dahal and the chief justice notifies of his inability to attend citing legal hurdles.
A meeting of the Constitutional Council scheduled for 5pm has been called off.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who is also the chairman of the Constitutional Council, had called the meeting for 5pm on Thursday despite agreeing on Wednesday to withdraw the ordinance on Constitutional Council Act.
The meeting, however, was called off after a meeting between the Nepal Communist Party chairs Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal Thursday afternoon.
“The meeting of the Constitutional Council has been stalled,” said Ram Sharan Bajagain, communication expert at the Secretariat of the prime minister.
Dahal had reached Baluwatar to hold talks with Oli after the latter called the Council meeting.
Sher Bahadur Deuba, the leader of the main opposition, had said he would not attend the Council meeting, according to Bhanu Deuba, personal aide to Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Oli on Tuesday had introduced the ordinance amending some clauses related to convening of the Council meeting.
As per new provisions, introduced through an ordinance Tuesday, the meeting does not require the presence of the Speaker and the leader of the opposition party as a simple majority is sufficient quorum. There is no deputy Speaker currently.
Following the promulgation of the ordinance on Tuesday, the Council’s meeting was held with the presence of the prime minister, the chief justice and the chair of the National Assembly. However, no decision was taken during the meeting.
On Wednesday Oli and Dahal had met before the meeting of the Nepal Communist Party Standing Committee which had decided to repeal the ordinance issued the day before.
To discuss the recommendations of the constitutional bodies, Oli and Dahal had agreed to meet at 11:30 in the morning but the meeting was fixed for 3:30 in the afternoon due to Dahal’s busy schedule, according to Subash Chandra Nembang, the deputy leader in Parliament of the ruling party.
However, after Oli called the meeting of the Constitutional Council, Dahal, according to members of his secretariat, had objected to the meeting without repealing the ordinance.
“After Dahal’s pressure, the prime minister has stalled the Council’s meeting,” said Bishnu Sapktoa, press advisor to Dahal.
According to party insiders, Oli was also in pressure to stall the meeting, after Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana refused to join citing legal hurdles. With the absence of the chief justice, the Speaker and main opposition leader, even the revised quorum would not have been fulfilled for the scheduled meeting on Thursday evening.