Outgoing Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli misrepresented facts today when he said in his address to the nation that people's mandate to lead the government was with him but the Supreme Court directed the president yesterday to appoint Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba as PM.

After the Supreme Court nullified the unification of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), his party, CPN-UML, had emerged as the single largest party with 123 members in the 275-member House of Representatives.

The SC ordered the president to appoint Deuba as new PM under Article 76 (5) of the constitution since he had the support of 149 members of the HoR, including 26 lawmakers from Oli's own party.

Oli had failed to manage the intra-party feud within the NCP that commanded almost twothirds majority in the HoR. Oli had also failed the floor test on May 10 following which he requested the president to initiate a new process to form an alternative government under Article 76 (5) of the constitution, saying that he was not confident of winning the vote of confidence.

Oli said the Supreme Court's ruling that whips could not be issued to lawmakers who wanted to support a candidate's bid for prime ministership under Article 76 (5) would have negative consequences on Nepal's democracy and multi-party political system.

He accused the SC of amending the constitution through its ruling in the second HoR dissolution case. Oli also accused the SC of giving remedies that had not been asked for. He did not elaborate, but when the SC nullified the unification of CPN- UML and CPN-MC, many people remarked that petitioner Rishi Ram Kattel had not asked for the nullification of the two parties, but had sought a directive to the NCP (NCP) to change its name, as it mimicked the name of his party. "Although the SC ruling is against us, we'll abide by it, as we believe in supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law," he added.

Oli accused 26 lawmakers of the UML's faction led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal of sabotaging party unity by supporting Deuba's bid for prime ministership.

He urged all not to question his commitment to democracy as he had been in fighting for it since he was 14.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 14 2021, of The Himalayan Times.