FRI 30 Jul, 2021

Prachanda is gaining momentum in Nepal again

The matter of the dissolution of the parliament has also reached the Supreme Court. As many as 13 writs have been registered with the court against the dissolution of the parliament.

All these writs are now in the Constitutional Bench, and hearing on them will begin from January 6, 2021. In the writs, it is claimed that despite having a majority in the parliament, Prime Minister Oli dissolved it mala fide by abusing the constitution.

As per the constitution, the prime minister of a majority government cannot dissolve the parliament and that it is not his or her prerogative.

The Dahal-Nepal faction and other groups of people are in the streets in protest against the dissolution of the parliament. Unsurprisingly, the Oli faction is also in the streets, defending Oli’s move to dissolve it. It seems that the parliament was dissolved not on the basis of the relevant constitutional provisions but from a political motive.

Along with announcing the dissolution of the parliament, Prime Minister Oli also announced mid-term polls slated for April 30 and May 10, 2021. The cost for conducting the polls will be huge, running into billions for a cash-strapped country like Nepal, given that over Rs 7 billion was spent on conducting the federal and provincial elections in 2017. From a financial viewpoint, spending such a huge amount does not make sense under the present circumstances, when the country is reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and a huge amount will be required for the procurement of vaccines.

Further, the scare of the COVID-19 pandemic has not subsided yet. Conducting elections amid the coronavirus is not free from risks. The rallies, assemblies and meetings taking place daily for or against the dissolution of the Parliament have made a mockery of the safety protocol to be followed to ward off the coronavirus.

These are the corollary to the dissolution of the parliament.

No government has lasted its full term since the restoration of multi-party democracy in Nepal in the early 1990s. Before the republican setup was introduced in the country, there were also instances in which the House was dissolved by then prime ministers like Girija Prasad Koirala, Man Mohan Adhikary and Sher Bahadur Deuba.

There was political instability in the country, hampering development activities.

No one has imagined that the present government with a clear majority in the parliament would take such a drastic step two years before its full term.

This has really betrayed the people’s mandate authorising the government to work for five years.

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