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Nepalese police stand guard as supporters of Nepal’s Prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli protest after Supreme Court reinstated the House of Representatives and upheld the leader of the opposition's claim to be the new prime minister in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, July 12, 2021.
Security was tight ahead of the contentious verdictImage: Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo/picture alliance

Nepal court cancels vote, paves way for new PM

July 12, 2021

The Nepalese Supreme Court has removed caretaker Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli from office and reinstalled his rival. Parliament is now set to reconvene in a week.


Nepal's Supreme Court on Monday canceled a snap election proposed by caretaker Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and reinstated parliament, allowing his rival Sher Behadur Deuba to try to win lawmakers' backing to set up a government.

Oli dissolved parliament on May 22 for the second time in a matter of months.after claiming that his political rival Deuba could not form a government.

"It's a historic verdict that has saved both the country and the constitution," Dinesh Tripathi, a Supreme Court lawyer and petitioner in the case told the dpa news agency.

Oli's supporters, however, demonstrated outside the court on Monday, calling its verdict "unconstitutional."

Nepal | Opposition | Proteste in Kathmandu
Oli's supporters demonstrated outside the Supreme Court on MondayImage: Niranjan Shrestha/AP Photo/picture alliance

Another chance for rival Deuba

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli hadfirst tried to dissolve the lower house of the Nepalese parliament, known as the House of Representatives, in December, after his Nepal Communist party split.

The Supreme Court reversed that decision as well, also reinstating parliament.

However, Oli could still not find a majority and on May 10 he lost a confidence vote. He was later reinstated as caretaker PM when the opposition parties failed to muster majority parliamentary support for a rival government.

Oli then asked Nepalꞌs President Bidya Devi Bhandari to dissolve parliament once more on May 22, triggering a snap election.

Petitioners from Deuba's opposition took the decision to the Supreme Court which ruled on Monday.

Deuba will have another chance to demonstrate he can muster majority support in parliament, perhaps as early as Tuesday. 

President of the Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba addresses before the election at the parliament in Kathmandu, Nepal, June 6, 2017.
The verdict gives former preisdent of the Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba another chance to establish a governmentImage: Picture alliance/Zumapress/S.Sharma

What does the court decision mean?

The parliamentary opposition went to the Supreme Court that has now ordered that Deuba be appointed Prime Minister in two days and that parliament be reconvened in seven days. 

Now, Deuba, a former prime minister himself, must find a majority in the House of Representatives.

This will only be possible if parliamentarians who supported him before the dissolution of parliament continue to give him their allegiance.

Assuming Deuba can secure majority support, the snap elections sought by Oli would not be necessary.

The political chaos has dealt a heavy blow to the pandemic fight in the region.

Nepal pleads for help as COVID-19 cases grow

jc/msh (dpa, Reuters, AP)

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