Nepali Congress President and former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba today said that President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had put democracy at stake.

Addressing a virtual even organised to mark the 30th establishment day of Nepal Press Union in Kathmandu, he alleged that both Bhandari and Oli had grossly violated the constitution. According to Deuba, President Bhandari did not appoint him prime minister although he had claimed the post with the signatures of majority of lawmakers of the House of Representatives.

"We approached the president with the signature of majority of lawmakers after she called on political parties representing the HoR to stake their claim on the prime ministerial post in accordance with Sub-article (5) of Article 76 of the constitution.

But the president did not appoint the person, who commanded majority, as prime minister. Instead, she dissolved the HoR overnight in collusion with Oli. Had she doubted the signature of majority lawmakers, she should have asked the signatories to present themselves physically," Deuba said.

"The incumbent president and prime minister are threats to democracy and I appeal to all political forces to stand united against their interference in the democratic system."

He said the NC had moved the Supreme Court because of Oli's arbitrary decisions. "I am confident that the independent judiciary will decide against the interference with the constitution by reinstating the HoR. Therefore, we are not going to stage protest against dissolution of the Parliament in the streets at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has created adverse situation," Deuba said.

Deuba said he was committed to holding the 14th general convention of the NC on the stipulated date with consensus of party leaders and activists, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I don't want to be tainted by not holding the general convention within the stipulated time. I would like to call on party leaders and activists to provide suggestions on holding the general convention," he said.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 28, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.