Opposition alliance calls house dissolution and call for snap polls unconstitutional and regressiveIn a statement three parties, a faction of the ruling party and a faction of Janata Samajbadi have accused the prime minister of announcing the polls with the ill-intention of prolonging his autocratic regime as it cannot be held.
The opposition alliance, comprising the Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), the Madhav Nepal faction of the CPN-UML, the Upendra Yadav faction of the Janata Samajbadi Party and Rastriya Janamorcha, Nepal on Saturday said that they would jointly counter politically and legally the President and prime minister’s unconstitutional move of dissolving the House.
The alliance has termed the President’s move unconstitutional, undemocratic, autocratic and regressive.
“The President did not follow her constitutional responsibility of appointing a new prime minister on the basis of the constitutional claim as per Article 76 (5) of the constitution with signatures of majority lawmakers,” states the joint press statement issued by the parties after a meeting on Saturday to chart out their future strategy. “Instead she sided with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli with malafide intentions and dissolved Parliament in an attack on the constitution and democracy. This regressive move has pushed the country towards new political polarisation and complexity.”
Both Nepali Congress President Deuba and Prime Minister Oli had claimed the support of the majority of lawmakers of the lower house to form a new government under Article 76(5) on Friday afternoon but in a statement late at night on Friday the Office of the President said that both claims were insufficient.
According to the statement, 26 lawmakers of the CPN-UML and 12 lawmakers of the Janata Samajbadi Party had supported both Oli and Deuba.
While Oli had staked his claim with the ‘support’ of 121 lawmakers from his CPN-UML and 32 from the Janata Samajbadi Party, Deuba had staked his claim with the signatures of 61 lawmakers of Nepali Congress, 49 of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), 26 of UML, 12 of Janata Samajbadi and one from Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal.
Of the 275 members in the House of Representatives four are suspended and 136 is the magic number needed for a majority.
The statement also accused the prime minister of announcing elections with the ill-intention of prolonging his autocratic tenure and at a time when the people are facing the pandemic and it has now pushed their lives into a serious crisis.
“Instead of unifying the country to fight the pandemic, the prime minister has taken the irresponsible move of dissolving the body of people's representatives. With this both the country and the people will have to face more pain and sufferings,” the statement said.
The statement is signed by Deuba, Chair of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal, senior leader of CPN-UML Nepal, Chair of Janata Samajbadi Party Upendra Yadav and Vice-chairperson of Rastriya Janamorcha Durga Poudel.
The opposition parties have also decided to move to the Supreme Court with a majority of the lawmakers of the House of Representatives saying that they have enough votes to form a new government.
“We will move to the Supreme Court with the signature of 149 lawmakers,” Dahal, told the reporters following the meeting at Baneshwor of the leaders. “We will counter both from the streets and the court.”
He said people will counter right from the local levels as the election was not announced to hold it.