KATHMANDU, MAY 27
Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota continued discussion with stakeholders on the dissolution of the House of Representatives.
He held consultations with lawyers today and told them that the dissolution of the HoR was against the Supreme Court's recent ruling and that the tendency to run the country on the basis of ordinances was also wrong. He said some issues needed to be thoroughly debated in both the houses of the Parliament and even taken to the people for wider discussion, but ruling the country through ordinances deprived the people of such an opportunity. He also said that the Parliament was the most important representative body as it elected the president, the prime minister, and the speaker. Undermining of the Parliament cannot be accepted, he added.
Sapkota said that the HoR was the body that gave the country a new government, but this time, the president had usurped the power of the HoR by refusing to appoint Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba who commanded majority in the HoR as prime minister.
Senior Advocate Shambhu Thapa said the president and the prime minister had conspired to dissolve the HoR. He said as per the Supreme Court's recent ruling, the HoR cannot be dissolved as long as it gives a government.
"The prime minister cannot dissolve the HoR and order mid-term polls as he pleases," Thapa added.
Senior Advocate Ram Narayan Bidari, who is also a member of the National Assembly, the Upper House of Parliament, told the speaker that he should call a meeting of lawmakers, but not the session of HoR and hold discussion on the ordinances that the government had recently issued.
Bidari also said that the speaker should write to the president and the Supreme Court that the PM had violated the Supreme Court's recent ruling that said the HoR could be dissolved only it failed to give a new government.
He said dissolution of the HoR violated the speaker's right to determine which party was the largest, who had the majority and who had won the vote of confidence.
Bidari said that the PM acted unconstitutionally when he, without resigning from his post, recommended to the president to initiate the process of forming the new government.
Senior Advocate Chandra Kanta Gyawali said that the PM who had not sought vote of confidence after being appointed under Article 76 (3) of the constitution exercised extra constitutionally when he requested the president to initiate the process of forming a new government under Article 76 (5).
PM Oli should have sought vote of confidence, or he should have resigned in order for the President to invoke Article 76 (5), Gyawali said, and added that the president was supposed to send for petitions for prime ministership to the Parliament to know who commanded majority.
Advocate Tika Ram Bhattarai said that the speaker can recommend to the president to call a new session of Parliament as dissolution of the HoR was unconstitutional.
The constitution envisages that on the day when the new budget is presented, the HoR must remain in existence and hence the HoR must be revived on Saturday when the budget has to be presented, he argued.
The speaker said he would continue holding discussion with other stakeholders, including journalists.
A version of this article appears in the print on May 28, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.