After House dissolution recommendation, prime minister for holding elections in Baisakh (April-May)The President, however, is yet to endorse the House dissolution recommendation and she is holding consultation, an official at Sheetal Niwas says.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who earlier on Sunday morning decided to dissolve the House of Representatives, has recommended general elections for Baisakh (April-May).
Lalbabu Yadav, an advisor to President Bidya Devi Bhandari, said he has “heard” that the prime minister recommended the election dates during his meeting with the President.
Oli on Sunday morning called an emergency meeting of the Cabinet, where he unilaterally decided to recommend House dissolution. Immediately after the Cabinet meeting, he headed for Sheetal Niwas to meet with the President.
“I'm yet to see the document but I have heard that the prime minister has proposed elections for Baisakh [April-May],” Yadav told the Post.
Another of the President's advisors told the Post that discussions are being held to hold elections in two phases in the second week of May next year.
However, Bhesh Raj Adhikary, chief personal secretary of the President, said that the proposal has not been registered at the Office of the President and that the prime minister had only held discussions with the Head of State.
Unlike in the past, when the Office of the President swiftly approved almost every recommendation by the Oli government, this time it has not endorsed the House dissolution recommendation.
One of the advisors to the President said she was on internal consultations and she may endorse it either today or tomorrow.
President Bhandari last week drew a lot of flak after she promptly promulgated an ordinance related to the Constitutional Council Act. Though Oli had agreed to withdraw the ordinance at Wednesday’s meeting of the Standing Committee of his party, he did not do so.
Instead, Oli on Sunday suddenly recommended the House dissolution, inviting massive criticism from all quarters, with many calling it an unconstitutional move.
The constitution does not have a provision allowing a majority prime minister to dissolve the House. Oli’s Nepal Communist Party commands nearly two-thirds majority in Parliament. Oli was elected prime minister in February 2018.
Tika Dhakal, information and communication expert to the President, said since the prime minister is the chief counsellor of the President, she cannot reject his recommendation and she has to endorse it under her constitutional obligations.
“The President can hold the recommendation for a certain time but she cannot reject it as per constitutional provisions,” Dhakal told the Post. “Unlike the interim constitution, the new constitution has left limited space for the President.”