Nepalese Supreme Court to hear challenge to legislative dissolution

  New justices will be appointed to the five-member bench of Nepal’s Supreme Court today to hear a case challenging

 

Nepal Supreme Court

Photo: The Nepal Lawyer

New justices will be appointed to the five-member bench of Nepal’s Supreme Court today to hear a case challenging the dissolution of the country’s House of Representatives. 

They will replace Justices Deepak Kumar Karki and Anand Mohan Bhattarai, who stepped down in protest after claiming that two other justices hearing the petition have conflicts of interest.

Opposition politicians argue that President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved the House of Representatives to keep Prime Minister Khadga Prasad (KP) Sharma Oli in power. Dissolution of the lower chamber would thwart the election of a new prime minister after Oli lost a no-confidence vote on May 10. In February, the Supreme Court struck down an earlier December 20 Presidential dissolution as unconstitutional. Most of the Justices who presided over that case will likely be appointed for this case due to their seniority. Therefore, expect the Court to strike down this dissolution as well, given the similar scenarios.

Aided by internal rifts in his governing coalition, Oli no longer has the numbers in the House to prolong his administration. Amid a worsening COVID-19 crisis, opposition Nepal Congress party leader Shur Bahadur Deuba is almost certain to form government should the Court rule to reinstate the House.  

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