All-round criticism for PM's house dissolution move

KATHMANDU: Early on Sunday, Ministers of the Oli government received a circular to attend the emergency meeting of the cabinet. At the very meeting, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli recommended the dissolution of the House of Representatives of the Federal Parliament.

The PM had made the move following a series of political meetings with top leaders of the ruling Nepali Communist Party and a few ministers of his cabinet on Saturday. The decision came as Oli was losing edge and was cornered within the party amid a long-standing factional war.

Upon wrapping up the meeting of the Council of Ministers, PM Oli took off for Shital Niwas where he briefed the President of the government's decision and, it has been learnt, discussed a possible date for a fresh election.

However, the PM's move has not gone down too well will the opposition parties, as expected, as well as with constitutional experts and general public.

Main opposition party Nepali Congress has said the Prime Minister's move to dissolve the parliament is authoritarian and that the party will resist it.

The NC said it would politically resist the PM's action and has urged people to act together to protect the constitution and the democratic system. The party, following reports of the dissolution, called an emergency meeting of the office-bearers on Sunday.

Leaders from the ruling party itself have expressed dissent over the PM's decision and have suggested that this step must be corrected. Party spokesperson Narayankaji Shrestha said that the recommendation to dissolve the house was unconstitutional, authoritarian, undemocratic as well as a step toward regression.

Likewise, former Prime Minister and chairperson of the Janata Samajwadi Party’s Federal Council Baburam Bhattarai has urged all democratic forces to unite against Prime Minister’s KP Sharma Oli’s move to dissolve the House of Representatives.

Rashtriya Prajatantra Party too has called an emergency meeting of the party at 3:00pm to discuss the Prime Minister's move while the Sajha Bibeksheel Party has planned demonstrations at Baluwatar, near the PM's official residence, at 3:00pm.

Constitutional experts have said the constitution does not allow a prime minister to dissolve the House unless there is a situation that the House cannot elect the PM with majority support.

Meanwhile, members of general public too have taken to social media to express their displeasure over Oli government's sudden move.

It now remains to be seen whether or not the President will approve the government’s recommendation, arguments on the legality of which have begun to surface.

The President has to approve the government's recommendation to dissolve the house for the decision to come into effect.