Five former prime ministers - Sher Bahadur Deuba, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal and Baburam Bhattarai - today issued a press statement urging the people, civil society and democratic forces to unitedly fight what they termed continuous attack by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on the constitution.

They said despite the Supreme Court's ruling to invalidate PM Oli's decision to dissolve the House of Representatives on December 20, the PM dissolved the House again on May 22 and exhibited his arbitrary, unconstitutional regressive character. They said that the Supreme Court has made it clear in its February 23 ruling that the House can be dissolved only if a government formed under Article 76 (5) of the constitution fails to obtain vote of confidence or an alternative government cannot be formed even after invoking all the processes prescribed in Article 76 of the constitution. Yet, he dissolved the HoR and brought the new fiscal budget through ordinance.

They said that the PM was indulging in anti-people policy by trying to sell riverine materials to a foreign country which could create serious environmental consequences in the country. Calling the government's decision to sell riverine materials as a decision to burn one's house to sell its ashes to others, the five former PMs demanded that the government immediately roll back its decision to sell riverine materials.

They warned the government and bureaucrats not to take any decision that could have long term impact on the country. They said that Nepalis should have the power to take decisions about their country and foreign forces should not be allowed to directly or indirectly interfere in Nepal.

The PM who has been reduced to a caretaker prime minister arbitrarily formed a taskforce to amend the constitution without forging national consensus on such a serious issue, indulged in undemocratically reshuffling the Cabinet repeatedly and issuing threats to the Supreme Court through the Attorney General, the five former prime ministers stated in their release. They said that the PM who was supposed to focus on controlling the COV- ID-19 pandemic and providing relief to the people, had been indulging in power games thereby creating political instability and uncertainty.

They said the government's failure to provide the second dose of vaccine against COVID to those who had received their first shot, had increased the chances that the first shot would go to waste. They demanded that the government work with a solid work plan to ameliorate the plight of the poor and working class people affected by the lockdowns.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 13, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.