July 3, 2022, Sunday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Reinstatement of Parliament a bold decision of the apex court

The Nepal Weekly
September 14, 2021

The verdict issued by the Supreme Court to reinstate the dissolved House of Representatives and handing over power to Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba, who claimed to have support from the majority members of the HoR was really a commendable job. Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana has displayed his courage while passing the verdict despite pressure exerted by the then K.P. Oli government not to reinstate the Lower House, which was dissolved twice. Nepal had plunged into a deep political crisis after Prime Minister Oli dissolved the House with his whim for the second time. Nepal being a poor and developing country could not bear the burden of going for an early election as a result of power tussle among the ruling party leaders. Going for a fresh election before the five year tenure of the Parliament would cost billions of rupees for the country.

With the decision of the Apex Court, the attempt to bring political instability in the country was foiled. The Constitution of Nepal 2072 B.S. has envisioned political stability in the country through a special provision. As per the constitutional provision, no Prime Minister can dissolve the Parliament as per his whim. The Parliament can be dissolved only if it can not give a government. There are many options for forming a government in the Constitution. If the majority government formed under Article 76 (1) fails then there is a provision of forming a coalition government under Article 76 (2). Under Article 76 (3) a minority government can be formed if both the both the provisions fail to form a government. Then finally, there is a provision under Article 76 (5) to form a government by any individual member of the Parliament who claims to show vote of confidence. The Parliament can be dissolved only after all the provisions related to formation of the government fails to give a way out.

Now the main opposition CPN-UML has been split into two as a faction of the party led by dissident leader Madhav Kumar Nepal formed a new political party with the name CPN-Unified Socialist. Neither does the Supreme Court chief justice nor does Speaker of the House of Representatives have played any role in splitting the largest political party CPN-UML which had secured 121 seats in the 275 seat Lower House. Everybody is aware that the CPN-UML, (earlier it was known as Communist Party of Nepal) was passing through a long power tussle, which has ultimately resulted in the split. The senior leaders of the CPN-UML should have managed their internal conflict by themselves through power sharing negotiations. There is no point in blaming upon others for the split in their party.

It is better to split the party rather than hanging on with long term intra-party squabble.

The Election Commission’s decision and the Parliament Speaker’s action have only facilitated smooth formation of a new party which was already in the making within the UML.

The two top leaders chairman K.P. Oli and dissident leader Madhav Kumar Nepal had reached a point of no return after they had intra-party feud climaxed.

Nepal cannot afford to have an early election at a time when the Covid – 19 pandemic is spreading across the nation day and night. People were tired to watch the never ending power tussle among the ruling party leaders. The court’s wise verdict gave a sigh of relief to the people, who were in no mood to go for a fresh poll. Now Sher Bahadur Deuba government is also facing a big challenge as he has to strike a balance among his five coalition partners. The major challenge before him at this moment is to give the government a full shape. The Deuba government should not make further delay in expanding the cabinet. People now have high expectations with the government led by the largest democratic party. The government’s main task should be to vaccinate the entire population against Covid- 19, to provide relief to the marginalized people affected by the pandemic, to bring package to uplift the country’s economy and finally to control the sky rocketing market price facing the ordinary people.