Supreme Court reinstates House of Representatives, dissolved by Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli in May, and orders Sher Bahadur Deuba to take over

Supporters of Nepal’s PM Khadga Prasad Oli protest after Supreme Court reinstated the House of Representatives in Kathmandu, Nepal, on July 12, 2021.
Supporters of Nepal’s PM Khadga Prasad Oli protest after Supreme Court reinstated the House of Representatives in Kathmandu, Nepal, on July 12, 2021. (AP)

Nepal’s Supreme Court has reinstated the House of Representatives and upheld the leader of the opposition’s claim to be the new prime minister, a lawyer said.

Monday’s court order removes Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli, who had been running a caretaker government until planned elections, said Om Prakash Aryal, among the lawyers to file the petition at the court.

In May, Oli directed the president to dissolve the House of Representatives, Parliament’s lower house, and announce new elections later this year. 

The decision was challenged in the Supreme Court by a coalition of opposition parties that said they had the support of a majority in Parliament to form a new government.

The Supreme Court also ruled on Monday that the reinstated House of Representatives should meet within a week, when the leader of the main opposition party, Sher Bahadur Deuba, is expected to call a vote of confidence.

There was no immediate comment from Oli’s office or his aides.

READ MORE: Thousands march against Nepal PM’s dissolution of parliament

Oli supporters take to streets

Hundreds of Oli's supporters gathered outside the Supreme Court to protest the court decision.

“We are here to protest the unconstitutional decision by the Supreme court, which was interfering with the affairs of the Parliament and its rights,” said one of the protesters, Ramesh Acharya.

The protesters briefly scuffled with riot police who were able to push them back. There were no injuries or arrests.

It was likely there would be several protests later in the week as Oli still has significant support among the public.

It is the second time the Supreme Court has reinstated the House of Representatives this year after it was dissolved by Oli.

He had the House of Representatives dissolved in December and called for fresh elections in April, but that was rejected by the Supreme Court and the house was reinstated in February. 

Oli again had the president dissolve the House of Representatives in May with elections planned for November.

Oli became the prime minister in 2018 after the Communist Party of Nepal won a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives. 

The party, however, has had two splits this year, weakening Oli's hold on power.

READ MORE: Nepal to hold polls next spring as president dissolves parliament

Source: AP