Nepal President orders House dissolution, sets elections on April 30-May 10, 2021

President Bhandari President Bidya Devi Bhandari
File: President Bidya Devi Bhandari attends the Basanta Shrawan ritual, in Kathmandu, on Thursday, January 30, 2020.

Kathmandu, December 20

President Bidya Devi Bhandari has endorsed Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s recommendation for the dissolution of the House of Representatives.

She has announced the country would hold next general elections on April 30 and May 10, 2021.

Earlier, Oli had recommended the dissolution of the House this morning after failing to take his own Nepal Communist Party into confidence.

A majority of the leaders of the ruling party and all other opposition parties have protested the move, saying it was unconstitutional. Many have called the Supreme Court to block the implementation of the decision.

Some had even expected the head of state, who does not have executive powers as per the constitution, to reject the government’s recommendation. However, as Bhandari had remained protective of Oli’s moves in the past also, she did not surprise anyone even today.

Bhandari has cited articles 76 (1), 76 (7) and 85 of the constitution, principles and values of the parliamentary system, and experiences from various countries exercising the system as bases for the endorsement.

What are these articles about?

76. Constitution of Council of Ministers:

1) The President shall appoint the leader of a parliamentary party that commands the majority in the House of Representatives as the Prime Minister, and the Council of Ministers shall be constituted under his or her chairpersonship.

(5) In cases where the Prime Minister appointed under clause (3) fails to obtain a vote of confidence under clause (4) and any member under clause (2) presents a ground on which he or she can obtain a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives, the President shall appoint such member as the Prime Minister.

85. Term of House of Representatives:

(1) Unless dissolved earlier pursuant to this Constitution, the term of the House of Representatives shall be five years.

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