Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Thursday defended his government’s controversial decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and told the Supreme Court that it is not up to the judiciary to appoint a premier as it cannot undertake the legislative and the executive functions of the state, according to a media report.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari, at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli, dissolved the House for the second time in five months on May 22 and announced snap elections on November 12 and November 19.
Prime Minister Oli is heading a minority government after losing a trust vote in the House.
In his written response to the Supreme Court, Oli said that it is not up to the judiciary to appoint a Prime Minister as it cannot undertake the legislative and the executive functions of the state.
The Supreme Court on June 9 issued a show-cause notice to the Office of the Prime Minister and the President’s Office to furnish a written response within 15 days.
The top court received Oli’s response via the Office of the Attorney General on Thursday, The Himalayan Times reported.
“The Court’s duty is to interpret the Constitution and the existing laws, it cannot play the role of the legislative or the executive bodies,” Oli said.
“Appointment of a Prime Minister is absolutely a political and an executive process,” the 69-year-old embattled leader underlined.
The Prime Minister also defended the involvement of the President in this whole issue, saying that Article 76 of the Constitution grants the sole right to appoint a Prime Minister to the President only.
“As per Article 76 (5), there is no such provision of a person gaining or losing a vote of confidence in the House being examined by the legislative or the judiciary,” he said.
As many as 30 writ petitions, including by the Opposition alliance, have been filed in the Supreme Court against the dissolution of the House, which they said was “unconstitutional”.
The Supreme Court has started hearing on the case. Regular hearings on the case will resume from June 23.
Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 last year after President Bhandari dissolved the House and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10 at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli, amidst a tussle for power within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
In February, the top court reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives, in a setback to embattled Prime Minister Oli who was preparing for snap polls.
Oli repeatedly defended his move to dissolve the House of Representatives, saying some leaders of his party were attempting to form a “parallel government”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)