The President of Nepal, Bidhya Devi Bhandari, has on Thursday approved the government’s proposal to prorogue the ongoing Parliamentary session. It all came as a relief to Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, who is facing stiff opposition from within the ruling Nepal Communist Party.
Now, he would be able to avoid a no-confidence motion from his own lawmakers. A Cabinet meeting held at Oli’s official residence in Baluwatar on Thursday decided to recommend the President to discontinue the Parliament’s Budget session without dissolving it. Oli had also met President Bhandari twice on June 30, 2020 ahead of the Cabinet meeting.
Rallying behind former Prime Minister and Nepal Communist Party co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, commonly known as Prachanda Dahal, 31 out of 44 standing committee members of the party stood against Oli in a party meeting on Wednesday and reiterated their demand for his resignation, The Kathmandu Post reported. This included the country’s Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, giving a jolt to the already ailing Oli government.
While the prorogation of the Parliament will save Oli from an immediate floor test, it will also allow him to reintroduce an ordinance meant to relax the provision to recognise a split in a political party. The ordinance, which sought to amend an existing provision in the country’ Political Parties Act, proposed the registration of a new party at the Election Commission with 40 per cent support either in parliamentary party or in party central committee. The ordinance was withdrawn after vociferous criticism. The political turmoil in Nepal comes amid border row with India over areas of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura. The country’s Parliament unanimously cleared a constitution amendment Bill on June 18, endorsing the its new map that includes territories with India.