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Nepal Parliament dissolved amid Oli-Prachanda power tussle, fresh polls next year

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Nepal’s President dissolves Parliament, declares mid-term polls

Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Sunday dissolved Parliament on the recommendation of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. The surprise move came amidst a prolonged tussle for power between the country embattled Prime Minister Oli and former premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”.

According to a notice issued by the Rashtrapati Bhawan, she dissolved Parliament as per Article 76, clause 1 and 7, and Article 85 of the Constitution of Nepal. President Bhandari has announced April 30 for the first phase and May 10 for the second phase of the mid-term election.

Earlier, an emergency Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Oli decided to recommend the President for the dissolution of Parliament’s House of Representatives. The 275-member House of Representatives, which is the lower house of Parliament, was elected in 2017. The upper house is National Assembly.

Spokesperson of the ruling NCP Narayankaji Shrestha termed Oli’s move as “undemocratic, anti-constitutional and autocratic”. He said that the ruling party will hold its Standing Committee meeting to discuss the matter. Senior leader of the ruling NCP and former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal termed the move as unconstitutional. Leaders of the ruling NCP have gathered at Prachanda’s residence to discuss Oli’s decision.

“The leaders have consulted about the problems caused by the decision of PM Oli,” said Prachanda’s press advisor Bishnu Sapkota said, adding that Madhav Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal and Narayan Kaji Shrestha among others were present in the meeting.

Prachanda and other party leaders will be visiting the Prime Minister’s residence to hold talks on the recent political development. Prachanda had visited Oli’s residence on Sunday morning as well, but he had returned without meeting the Prime Minister, The Rising Nepal reported.

Meanwhile, constitutional experts have termed the move to dissolve Parliament as unconstitutional.

(With PTI inputs)

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