Uncertainty looms over Deuba's claim as some UML leaders say their signatures were misused.
KATHMANDU, MAY 21
President Bidya Devi Bhandari is likely to seek constitutional experts' advise after her office registered separate premiership claims of incumbent Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli as well as opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Both Oli and Deuba had presented their claims a few minutes ahead of the deadline set by President Bhandari for the parties to stake claim to government expired. President Bhandari had given the parties time until 5:00 pm on Friday.
PM Oli was the first to declare that he had the support of 153 lawmakers of the House of Representatives, a day after recommending President Bhandari to initiate process for formation of new government in accordance to Article 76(5) of the Constitution, citing that he does not have adequate support to go through another floor test.
The letter he submitted had his signature along with the signatures of Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal chair Mahanta Thakur and the party's parliamentary party leader Rajendra Mahato.
Likewise, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba along with other leaders of the opposition alliance reached Shital Niwas with signatures of 149 lawmakers including 26 lawmakers from the Khanal-Nepal faction of the CPN-UML.
The president had apparently told the opposition leaders that she would take a call after consulting constitutional experts.
However, a dispute has emerged after a few lawmakers from Madhav Nepal faction have put out statements claiming that their signatures have been misused and that they did not sign any paper to instill opposition leader as the Prime Minister against their own party chief.
Foreign Affairs Advisor to PM Oli, Rajan Bhattarai had published one of the MP's letters in which he had claimed that his signature has been misused without his knowledge.
Likewise, it has been learnt that the leaders present at a meeting of the taskforce formed to resolve differences between the warring Oli-group and Nepal-group in the ruling party, had stated that their signatures were used without letting them know.
As per a Shital Niwas source, several letters have been registered at the office of the president stating their signatures were misused and they did not agree to endorse opposition leader Deuba as the Prime Minister.